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2906, 2023

Professional Development, Conferences and Resources

By |June 29th, 2023|Categories: Community Engagement, Dialogue, Engineering, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Informal Math Programming, Middle School Aged, NASA, Next Generation Science Standards, Presentations, Science, Space Exloration, STEM, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

(The author standing in the flame-trench of Pad 39-B at the Kennedy Space Center. Directly behind me is the flame-deflector which diverts the exhaust from the SLS rocket's  four RS-25 engines and two solid-rocket boosters, equally to each side of the deflector. In the foreground on the left side of the image, stacked on the ground, are the steel panels that have been removed from the flame-deflector. These were damaged by the greater than [...]

1806, 2023

JWST Anniversary Activities

By |June 18th, 2023|Categories: astronomy, Community Engagement, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, NASA, News, Photography, Presentations, Space Exloration, STEM, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

(The primary mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope after being assembled at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. Photo credit: NASA/Chris Gunn) An amazing space telescope, that is rewriting astronomy books, has a big anniversary coming up! July 12, 2023 will be the 1-year anniversary of the first images release from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). There are many ways for libraries to participate, and there [...]

1806, 2023

Summer is For Solar Systems

By |June 18th, 2023|Categories: Arts, astronomy, Community Engagement, Elementary Aged, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |

(Christopher Mick pictured with adhesive sidewalk graphics that contained information on each planet and were applied at the appropriate distances from each other on the sidewalks starting at the Hudson library and continuing on for a 1-mile scale Solar System Walk, based on the Sun being 8-inches across)   The vast size of our Solar System can be a hard concept to get across to visitors at your library. Luckily there are several [...]

3105, 2023

Bringing Space To Your Space

By |May 31st, 2023|Categories: Community Engagement, Dialogue, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, NASA, Presentations, Science, Space Exloration, STEM, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

(Patrons attending a NASA James Webb Space Telescope Community event in Hudson, WI. Photo by Christopher Mick)   It all started in 2014, with an idea to put together a STEM presentation for a local school that my son was attending at the time. The thinking was I would combine several interesting  STEM experiences I had had as a kid growing up in Northern California. I had been lucky enough to [...]

1505, 2023

Artemis II, More Than Just the Moon

By |May 15th, 2023|Categories: Uncategorized|

The Crew of Artemis II. (back row left to right) Christina Hammock Koch, Victor Glover, Jeremy Hansen I(n-front center) Reid Wiseman. The Artemis program is now moving beyond the years of testing hardware and systems, and with the successful completion of the un-crewed Artemis 1 mission in December of 2022, NASA has announced the crew of the first mission to begin returning astronauts to the Moon for a series of  ever more ambitious [...]

305, 2023

The Launch of Artemis 1 for a New Generation

By |May 3rd, 2023|Categories: Community Engagement, Engineering, Moon, NASA, News, Space Exloration, STEM, Technology|Tags: , , , |

(image credit: Christopher Mick) By Christopher Mick There are are over 75 reporters crammed into the "bullpen" at the NASA Media Center on the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center. This is the area where the press can plug in laptops, work on their stories and ask NASA Public Affairs Officers any technical questions they may have, and there are reporters here from all over the world. I overhear excited [...]

707, 2022

Fostering Belonging in Neurodiverse Teams

By |July 7th, 2022|Categories: Dialogue, General, NASA, News, Presentations, Virtual Presentations|

By Jessica Santascoy  Library staff are committed to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in their communities (Fournier and Ostman). It’s often the case that people find a welcoming and safe environment at a library – a sense of belonging.  Understanding neurodiversity helps increase inclusion. “Neurodiversity describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in different ways; there is no one "right" way of thinking, [...]

507, 2022

American Library Association Annual Conference – STAR Net Activities

By |July 5th, 2022|Categories: Dialogue, General, NASA, News, Science, STEM|

By Jessica Santascoy  The American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference was a lot of fun, and we were thrilled to see many of you in person.   We hope you got a lot out of the workshops, one-on-one conversations, and public presentations.  We’ve summarized our participation and have rounded up the activities and resources we shared.   NASA and SEAL Booths   We hosted two booths that were wildly popular.   SEAL – Solar [...]

1406, 2022

STEAM Strategy Videos

By |June 14th, 2022|Categories: Dialogue, NASA, Science, STEM|

By Christine Shupla, The Lunar and Planetary Institute  NASA@ My Library has produced a series of short professional development videos as a resource to library staff conducting Earth and space science programs. Each video is 4 to 10 minutes, featuring suggestions and recommendations from library staff experienced in conducting Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) programs. Most are accompanied by a website or document with additional resources.  NASA@ My [...]

2405, 2022

(Resource List) James Webb Space Telescope First Image – Toolkit Unboxing Webinar

By |May 24th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Link Bank Presenters  Claire Ratcliffe Adams Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org  Christine Shupla Lunar and Planetary Institute shupla@lpi.usra.edu  Dillon Connelly Space Science Institute dconnelly@spacescience.org  JWST First Image Toolkit Resources Improv with the Stars! (Modification & Prep List) (Science Blog) Multiwavelength Bingo (Modification & Prep List) (Science Blog) Filtered Light (Modification & Prep List) (Science Blog) NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Model (Modification & Prep List) (Science Blog) James Webb Space Telescope [...]

2305, 2022

(Resource List) Celebrate Water During Earth Science Week

By |May 23rd, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Lake Powell photographed by Landsat 8 satellite, 2014 (credit: NASA) Celebrate Water During Earth Science Week - Link Bank Presenters Claire Ratcliffe Adams Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org Dillon Connelly Space Science Institute dconnelly@spacescience.org Webinar Recording: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/development/webinars/ Follow We Are Water Newsletter Signup: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/about/our-projects/we-are-water/#newsletter-signup STAR Net We Are Water (website for libraries): https://www.starnetlibraries.org/about/our-projects/we-are-water/ We Are Water (website for patrons): https://wearewater.colorado.edu/ We Are Water Stories (images, videos, podcasts): https://wearewater.colorado.edu/stories Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreWaterSW Twitter: https://twitter.com/WeAreWaterSW [...]

2305, 2022

Look Up! Featured Activity – NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

By |May 23rd, 2022|Categories: Arts, astronomy, Informal Learning, NASA, Science, Space Exloration, STEM, Technology|

Credit: NASA This content was written by Dillon Connelly from the Space Science Institute  Celebrate the first images of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope with this featured activity: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope  In this activity, you and your patrons will assemble a paper model of the James Webb Space Telescope. The model allows you to assemble the JWST from its three main elements. Facilitate as an in-person program at [...]

2005, 2022

Look Up! Featured Activity – Filtered Light 

By |May 20th, 2022|Categories: Arts, Informal Learning, NASA, Science, Space Exloration, STEM|

Credit: NISENET This content was written by Christine Shupla from the Lunar and Planetary Institute   Celebrate the first images of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope with this featured activity: Exploring the Universe: Filtered Light.   Filters allow us to block some types of light and isolate others; separating out these different colors or energy levels of light can give us new information. In "Filtered Light," participants discover how colored [...]

1805, 2022

Look Up! Featured Activity – Improv with the Stars

By |May 18th, 2022|Categories: Arts, NASA, Science, Space Exloration, STEM|

Credit: Pioneer Library System Flickr This content was written by Christine Shupla from the Lunar and Planetary Institute  Celebrate the first images of NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope with this featured activity: Improv with the Stars  After learning about four stellar classifications and the characteristics of stars, groups of patrons act out an improvisation of the “personality” of the four stars while the audience gets to guess [...]

1705, 2022

Look Up! Featured Activity – Multiwavelength Bingo

By |May 17th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Credit: Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics This content was written by Christine Shupla from the Lunar and Planetary Institute  Celebrate the first images of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope with this featured activity: Multiwavelength Bingo  Engage your patrons in astronomical images taken by telescopes studying the universe in different wavelengths in this game of bingo, after first exploring the idea of different types of light through an activity like Filtered [...]

1305, 2022

All Washed Up Looking for Oceans STEAM Activities for Summer Reading? Check out the Our Blue Planet: EARTH STEAM Activity Toolkit!

By |May 13th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Summer reading is rapidly approaching! If your library is participating in the Collaborative Summer Library Program’s Oceans of Possibilities summer reading theme or you simply want to facilitate some awesome water-themed STEAM activities the summer, have we got the toolkit for you!  The NASA@ My Library Our Blue Planet: EARTH STEAM Activity toolkit containing five ready-to-deploy hands-on activities related to ocean and water science. Each activity has been selected to [...]

605, 2022

The concepts of inclusion and intersectionality; and employing them to grow our audiences

By |May 6th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

The concepts of inclusion and intersectionality; and employing them to grow our audiences by Kevin Tolley, Supervising Librarian Suisun City Library Suisun City, CA We are libraries and because of that we include everyone. This is a matter of deep moral imperative. We also are libraries, and because of that we need to increase our market penetration and usage rates in underserved populations. This is a financial imperative if we’re [...]

605, 2022

Reaching Underserved Patrons – English-Language Learners

By |May 6th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Reaching Underserved Patrons – English-Language Learners by Barbara Shatara, Programs & Partnerships Librarian Fletcher Free Library Burlington, VT Libraries serve communities as unique as the individuals who live and work there.  Even libraries within the same city can be very different from one another.  One of our super-powers as librarians is the ability to craft our materials, services and buildings to best reflect the needs of our own unique community.   [...]

505, 2022

Findings from the Colorado Health Program Survey

By |May 5th, 2022|Categories: Community Engagement, General|

April 22,2022 Written by Paul B. Dusenbery, Ph.D. Senior Educator Emeritus Space Science Institute Overview The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a seismic paradigm shift. It has changed how people socialize, communicate, work, eat, and care for one another. It revealed the need for an infrastructure at the ready to mobilize public health resources to respond to future unexpected health challenges. COVID-19 is not the first health crises we [...]

2604, 2022

(Resource List) Our Blue Planet: EARTH – Toolkit Unboxing Webinar

By |April 26th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Our Blue Planet: EARTH – Toolkit Unboxing Webinar  Link Bank  Presenters  Claire Ratcliffe Adams Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org  Christine Shupla Lunar and Planetary Institute shupla@lpi.usra.edu  Dillon Connelly Space Science Institute dconnelly@spacescience.org    Our Blue Planet: EARTH Toolkit Resources   Catch! The World’s Oceans (Modification & Prep List) (Science Blog)  A Drop in the Bucket (Modification & Prep List) (Science Blog)  GLOBE Observer: Clouds (Modification & Prep List) (Science Blog)  Cloudscape (Modification [...]

1504, 2022

Our Blue Planet: EARTH Featured Activity – GLOBE Observer: Clouds and Cloudscape

By |April 15th, 2022|Categories: NASA, Science, STEM|

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpYXh3xHoS4 Marilé Colón Robles, the project scientist for NASA Globe Clouds and her daughter Madison demo a Cloud Journal in the Do You Know that Clouds Have Names?  STAR Net’s Our Blue Planet: EARTH campaign is a celebration of NASA’s focus on Earth’s oceans, understanding how they are changing and their impact on sea life and our weather and climate systems. Participate in this event during the summer of [...]

1304, 2022

Our Blue Planet: EARTH Featured Activities – A Drop in the Bucket and Catch! The World’s Oceans 

By |April 13th, 2022|Categories: NASA, Science, STEM|

STAR Net’s Our Blue Planet: EARTH campaign is a celebration of NASA’s focus on Earth’s oceans, understanding how they are changing and their impact on sea life and our weather and climate systems. Participate in this event during the summer of 2022 by sharing activities and resources with your patrons! This month’s featured activities are A Drop in the Bucket and Catch! The World’s Oceans.   A Drop in the Bucket [...]

1104, 2022

Our Blue Planet: EARTH Featured Activity – Building for Hurricanes 

By |April 11th, 2022|Categories: NASA, Science, STEM|

Image: Hurricane Irene making landfall over the Northeast US STAR Net’s Our Blue Planet: EARTH campaign is a celebration of NASA’s focus on Earth’s oceans, understanding how they are changing and their impact on sea life and our weather and climate systems. Participate in this event during the summer of 2022 by sharing activities and resources with your patrons! This month’s featured activity is Building for Hurricanes.  In this engineering [...]

804, 2022

Our Blue Planet: EARTH Featured Activity – Polar Bears Go With The Floes

By |April 8th, 2022|Categories: NASA, Science, STEM|

STAR Net’s Our Blue Planet: EARTH campaign is a celebration of NASA’s focus on Earth’s oceans, understanding how they are changing and their impact on sea life and our weather and climate systems. Participate in this event during the summer of 2022 by sharing activities and resources with your patrons! This month’s featured activity is Polar Bears Go With The Floes  In this collaborative board game everyone wins, or everyone [...]

604, 2022

Our Blue Planet: EARTH Featured Activity – Investigating the Insides 

By |April 6th, 2022|Categories: General, NASA, Science, STEM, Uncategorized|

                Photo credit: LPI. STAR Net’s Our Blue Planet: EARTH campaign is a celebration of NASA’s focus on Earth’s oceans, understanding how they are changing and their impact on sea life and our weather and climate systems. Participate in this event during the summer of 2022 by sharing activities and resources with your patrons! This month’s featured activity is Investigating the Insides, an [...]

2503, 2022

“We are Water” Exhibit Opportunity Announcement

By |March 25th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

If you are a rural library in the Southwest, consider hosting the We are Water exhibition! We are looking for one more rural public, tribal, or college library within the Four Corners Region of the Southwestern United States to host an exhibition about Water in the Four Corners for three months in 2023. Funding by the National Science Foundation enables the exhibition and programming to be delivered at no [...]

2103, 2022

(Resource List) Our Blue Planet: EARTH

By |March 21st, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Webinar Link Bank Presenters Claire Ratcliffe Adams Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org Dr. Michael Wood NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory mike.wood@jpl.nasa.gov Webinar Recording: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/development/webinars/ Our Blue Planet: Earth Event Page: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/our-planet-earth/ Ocean Activities A Drop in the Bucket: http://clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org/activities/629-a-drop-in-the-bucket.html Investigating the Insides: http://clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org/astronomy-and-space/192-investigating-the-insides.html Polar Bears Go with the Floes: http://clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org/earth-science/24-polar-bears-go-with-the-floes.html Our Blue Planet: EARTH Activity Collection: http://clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org/177-our-blue-planet-earth NASA Resources Ocean Worlds: Water in the Solar System and Beyond (webpage) Are There Oceans on [...]

2502, 2022

Collision of Olympic Physics and Cosmic Events Happen at the South Fayette Township Library AstrOlympic Program  

By |February 25th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

By Judy Dobie, Youth Services STEAM Coordinator, South Fayette Twp Library Facilitators – Judy Dobies -Youth Service STEAM Coordinator & Nicole Harding, Librarian – Youth Services Coordinator The Pinwheel Galaxy is a spiral-shaped galaxy about 21 million light years away from Earth. But on the night of February 15th, 2022, in South Fayette Township, a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA, a library room of interested elementary school-age children were busy creating and spinning [...]

2302, 2022

(Resource List) Citizen Science in the Library: Turn Your Curiosity into Impact

By |February 23rd, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Citizen Science in the Library: Turn Your Curiosity into Impact Webinar Link Bank Presenters Claire Ratcliffe Adams Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org Caroline Nickerson SciStarter carolinehewittnickerson@gmail.com Webinar Recording: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/development/webinars/ SciStarter Resources SciStarter: https://scistarter.org/library-network SciStarter Resources Designed for Libraries: http://scistarter.org/Library SciStarter YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/scistarter Network of the National Library of Medicine: https://scistarter.org/nlm Citizen Science Kits: https://scistarter.org/library-build-a-kit SciStarter Widget: https://scistarter.org/widget/new Citizen Science Training: https://scistarter.org/training Questions? Email librarynetwork@scistarter.org Citizen Science Month Resources Citizen Science Month: [...]

702, 2022

Come join the great discussions going on in our ALA Connect Affinity Groups!

By |February 7th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

As part of the NASA@ My Library program STAR Net is partnering with the American Library Association to facilitate Affinity Group discussions for libraries to discuss important topics! Affinity Groups convene on a variety of member-defined topics designed to help build the capacity of library professionals to incorporate NASA SMEs and NASA STEAM activities into their programs and services while supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). Affinity Groups meet [...]

402, 2022

Celebrate World Water Day on March 22nd at Your Library!

By |February 4th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

What is World Water Day? World Water Day is an annual celebration of water started by the United Nations in 1993. This campaign seeks to raise awareness of the 2 billion people on our planet currently living without access to safe water. This event takes place every year on March 22. The focus is to inspire action towards the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal #6: Water and sanitation for all by [...]

2701, 2022

What To Do When Things Go Wrong in your STEAM Programs

By |January 27th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

Written by Susan Rolfsmeier, Assistant Director at Chadron Public Library Things will go wrong.  I am not a pessimist, but I have enough stories of accidentally deleting lab reports (pre-autosave) and wrong turns that led to being lost at the worst possible times that I have developed an unscientific expectation, a strong superstition, that if something can go wrong it will. My Mom used to call this Murphy’s Law. When [...]

1201, 2022

NASA GLOBE Clouds 2022 Challenge: Clouds in a Changing Climate

By |January 12th, 2022|Categories: Community Engagement, environmental education, Informal Learning, NASA, Science, STEM, Technology|

by Vivienne Byrd, Los Angeles Public Library, and Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, GLOBE Observer Team Start the new year with the NASA GLOBE 2022 Cloud Challenge! The challenge is January 15 - February 15, 2022. The GLOBE campaign website has several resources to support your program. How to get started Vivienne Byrd at the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) Neighborhood Science (NeiSci) program recommends doing the [...]

501, 2022

Bring Home The Science

By |January 5th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

by Susan Borders, Darby Free Public Library, PA On Friday, March 11, 2020, at 3 pm, I received a call from my Board President.  He gave the following directions, “Close the Library at 5 pm. We don’t know when we will reopen.” COVID-19 had arrived in Darby Borough and we were to shelter in place. The Darby Library Board of Directors were kind enough to keep paying the staff. The [...]

2312, 2021

How to Turn a STEM Experiment into a Library Public Program

By |December 23rd, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

Written by Valerie Marshall, Community Library Manager, Broward County Library I have been offering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) related programs to the general public in science museums, continuing education classes, and libraries for over a decade. Many of my library customers call me “The Space Lady” because I have a telescope and a picture of an astronaut in my office, and I’m always encouraging my customers to check [...]

612, 2021

Building a science-focused reading challenge? Check out these great resources!

By |December 6th, 2021|Categories: Community Engagement, Science|

Reading challenges are a great way to engage patrons and encourage learners of all ages to read. Reading challenges vary from participating in a national summer reading challenge through the Collaborative Summer Library Program, utilizing reading challenge software like Beanstack or READSquared, or simply providing a list of books and activities to your patrons. To aid you in putting together any kind of reading challenge at your library, STAR Net [...]

2311, 2021

Best Practices for Take & Make Activities

By |November 23rd, 2021|Categories: Community Engagement, Informal Learning, STEM|

Tips & Tricks for Take & Makes to Compliment Virtual Programming By Atlas Logan, Gwinnett Public Library Many libraries have turned to Take & Make activity kits as a fun, engaging way to still meet community needs while keeping things safe during the pandemic. While fairly straightforward, there are still a few things to keep in mind when planning, preparing, and distributing Take & Make kits, especially if you are [...]

1011, 2021

Volunteers and Choosing Them Intentionally 

By |November 10th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

By Kevin Tolley, Solano County Library  When thinking about finding volunteers for STEM programming, there are two kinds of groups to consider: Subject Matter Experts (SME) and non-experts (who I’ll just refer to as volunteers). The SME’s are particularly helpful and since I didn't have a lot of STEM expertise in our library staff I did a lot with them during NASA@ My Library 1.0. That meant I leaned on [...]

1110, 2021

Celebrate Water at Your Library this Earth Science Week and Beyond!

By |October 11th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

Earth Science Week (October 10th-16th, 2021) is upon us, and this year communities have the chance to celebrate Earth's most precious resource with the theme, "Water Today and for the Future." Libraries are great places for communities to explore this important topic now and in advance of the 2022 CSLP summer reading theme, “Oceans of Possibilities.” We hope that this blog can provide some resources and strategies for you! The STAR Library [...]

410, 2021

Planning a JWST Launch Event? Check out the Look Up! Explore Our Universe STEAM Activity Toolkit!

By |October 4th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to launch in December 2021. This launch is a great opportunity for you to engage your patrons with an exciting new NASA science mission! To help you program for this once-in-a-lifetime event, we put together a digital STEAM Activity Toolkit as part of the NASA@ My Library Look Up! Explore Our Universe campaign containing five ready-to-deploy hands-on activities related to the science behind [...]

410, 2021

Look Up! Featured Activity – Life Cycle of a Massive Star 

By |October 4th, 2021|Categories: astronomy, NASA, Science, Space Exloration|

Celebrate the upcoming launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope using a new Toolkit of five interactive activities. This month’s featured activity is Life Cycle of a Massive Star. Explore the life cycle of stars with your patrons! Provide this craft as a library program, Take & Make activity, or send patrons home with a life cycle bookmark. Don't have access to plastic pony beads? Make your own paper beads [...]

410, 2021

Look Up! Featured Activity – Mission to Space Board Game 

By |October 4th, 2021|Categories: astronomy, Engineering, NASA, Space Exloration|

Celebrate the upcoming launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope using a new Toolkit of five interactive activities. This month’s featured activity is Mission to Space Board Game.  Patrons play a board game in which they represent a team of scientists and engineers sending a spacecraft on a mission to space. Assemble the pieces of this tabletop board game to use in library or outreach programs. It includes instructions in English and in Spanish.  [...]

1309, 2021

“From Our Town to The Moon, Mars, and Beyond” Exhibit Opportunity Announcement  

By |September 13th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

The Space Science Institute is pleased to announce a new exhibit opportunity for public libraries. 'From Our Town to the Moon, Mars and Beyond' will launch in March 2022, traveling to 8 libraries across the country. All public and tribal libraries are welcome to apply. The application will open on September 15th, and will close November 15th  The exhibit, kits, and activities will focus on the path towards a permanent presence on the Moon, [...]

209, 2021

Look Up! Featured Activity – The Expanding Universe: Playing with Time

By |September 2nd, 2021|Categories: astronomy, NASA, Science, Space Exloration, STEM, Technology|

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows galaxies from 550 million years ago to 13 billion years ago.  Celebrate the upcoming launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope using a new Toolkit of five interactive activities. This month’s featured activity is The Expanded Universe: Playing with Time.  Patrons use balloons to model the expansion of the Universe! Use stickers and markers to explore how the expansion affects wavelengths of light and distance between galaxies. Facilitate as an in-person program [...]

2607, 2021

Look Up! Featured Activity – Make a Pinwheel Galaxy 

By |July 26th, 2021|Categories: Hubble Space Telescope, NASA, Science, Space Exloration, STEM|

Celebrate the upcoming launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope using a new Toolkit of five interactive activities. This month’s featured activity is Make a Pinwheel of the Pinwheel Galaxy. Patrons design, cut-out, and assemble their own pinwheel of the Pinwheel Galaxy in a fun STEAM craft!  Facilitate this activity at your library or print out the template and provide the craft materials for a Take & Make activity. Time to complete: 10-20 minutes Ages: [...]

707, 2021

Look Up! Featured Activity- Sorting Games: How Big? How Far? How Hot?

By |July 7th, 2021|Categories: NASA, Space Exloration, STEM|

Celebrate the upcoming launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope using a new Toolkit of five interactive activities. This month’s featured activity is Sorting Games: How Big? How Far? How Hot? Patrons explore concepts such as the size, distance, and temperature of objects in space! Facilitate this activity as an in-person program or print the sorting cards to use as a Take & Make activity. Time to complete: 10-20 minutes Ages: Pre-K to [...]

2106, 2021

ViewSpace: Discover the Universe

By |June 21st, 2021|Categories: Informal Learning, NASA, Space Exloration|

ViewSpace: Discover the Universe Carolyn Slivinski, Space Telescope Science Institute "YOU ARE WATCHING VIEWSPACE"—these words are the welcome message that lets you know you have been provided a window to explore our planet, solar system, galaxy, and universe. ViewSpace is a broadly accessible web-based collection of digital interactives and videos highlighting the latest developments in astronomy and Earth science. Supported by NASA as part of NASA's Universe of Learning, ViewSpace is developed [...]

1606, 2021

The Joy in Learning

By |June 16th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

written by Terri McDougal, Head of Children’s Services at Kanawha County Public Library in Charleston, West Virginia   “It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” -Leo F. Buscaglia   It has been a difficult year for so many people.  In my library system, the Kanawha County Public Library in West Virginia, we [...]

306, 2021

Lessons Learned from a Pandemic

By |June 3rd, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

written by Terri McDougal, Head of Children's Services at Kanawha County Public Library in Charleston, West Virginia   As was the case around the country, the COVID-19 global pandemic struck hard in West Virginia.  Not necessarily in the number of cases or number of lives lost, in comparison to other areas of the United States, but in terms of other factors.  These include the closing of schools, churches, businesses, and yes, [...]

3005, 2021

Citizen Science Spotlight – Cicadas!

By |May 30th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

It would be a shame if we didn't talk about cicadas right now. Everyone is talking about cicada brood x right now. It wouldn't be right not to feature citizen science opportunities about our emerging friends. Brood X is one of the biggest and most widespread, but will not be seen by everyone, but don't worry - there's probably a brood coming your way soon enough. If you live in [...]

2905, 2021

Landers and Landers and Egg Drops, Oh My!

By |May 29th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

Some of you may have heard in the news recently that NASA named SpaceX as the winner of its recent lunar lander design solicitation for returning astronauts to the surface of the Moon in the next few years. The three finalists consisted of Dynetics, SpaceX and the Blue Origin led National Team. The designs were all very distinct from each other and addressed the challenges of landing astronauts on the [...]

2905, 2021

Citizen Science Spotlight – Pollinators!

By |May 29th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |

Pollinating insects are the superstars of the insect world. Everyone wants to save the bees and butterflies. They should, too. Pollinating insects are incredibly important to our livelihood and our environment. More people are starting backyard beehives, or raise and release butterfly kits as the popularity of pollinators grows. Pollen has plant specific shapes and sizes, and a single bee will specialize in a few particular plant species. Approximately one out [...]

2905, 2021

Artist and Astronaut

By |May 29th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

As we start the Memorial Day weekend , I was thinking back to an interview I had with the late Alan Bean (March 15, 1932 - May 26, 2018). Alan was a naval officer, aeronautical engineer, test pilot, NASA astronaut and a fine artist. Alan became the fourth person to walk on the Moon on in 1969 with Apollo 12 and spent fifty-nine days in space (at the time a [...]

2805, 2021

What Is An Analog Astronaut?

By |May 28th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

Have you heard of the term "analog astronaut" before?  It's a special term for someone simulating a deep space mission here on Earth. They are people just like you and me, or they might be a specialist in a particular area. Analog astronauts simulate long-duration space missions, in geographically similar areas to the real missions  that are being planned for future Moon and Mars crewed explorations. A crewed mission to [...]

2805, 2021

Creating a Perpetual Nature Journal: A Sketchbook With a Twist

By |May 28th, 2021|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Science, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

I've read about artists, especially botanical artists, that take years to finish a work of art, not because they were just super slow, but because they had to wait.  What did they have to wait for?  Nature. These artists would focus on a particular plant while it was in bloom or its fruit was ripe, or it was at some other particular stage in its yearly cycle that they wanted [...]

2705, 2021

STEAM Engines: Da Vinci Bridge

By |May 27th, 2021|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, Science, Uncategorized|

A few years back, as the Youth Services department was thinking about programs and play opportunities for the library, I attended this talk about the benefits of nature play for children. Scholarly presentations on the benefits of forest schools, nature preschools, and the importance of nature play were in abundance as well as hands-on activities for practical application in a school or library setting. I love it, and I’m totally [...]

2605, 2021

Citizen Science Spotlight – A Dragonfly Mystery

By |May 26th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

Dragonflies are amazing insects, their existence dates back approximately 300 million years, and some even consider good luck. They've also plagued experts for years with their migratory patterns. Thanks to help from citizen scientists, experts were able to not only solve the mystery, but document significant and unprecedented life cycle findings. Insects normally fall into two life cycle categories: nymph or pupa. Essentially, it's how insects spend their awkward teen [...]

2405, 2021

Citizen Science Spotlight – Frogs!

By |May 24th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

Many people have recently looked to outdoor activities for entertainment. We're in the thick of spring, and nature has started showing signs of life. There is so much to do, and so much to observe outside! Of course, there are plenty of citizen science opportunities to take advantage of as well. Frogs are an indicator species. This means that they can indicate the ecological health of a geographic area. They [...]

2305, 2021

Citizen Science Spotlight – Trees!

By |May 23rd, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

There are so many opportunities to help scientist monitor your local environment. Did you know that you can identify and document trees for science? Identifying trees is less intimidating because they don't move around, but there are a lot more variables than you might originally think. You've got the leaf buds, leaf shape, leaf grow patterns, bark, fruit, and more. Tree identification can be done in any season. Citizen scientists [...]

2105, 2021

Nature Journaling – Art, Science, Observation, and Fun!

By |May 21st, 2021|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Pre-School, Science, Spacial Thinking, STEM, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Folks know what Nature is. Folks know what a journal is. But Nature can't write... no thumbs, among other things. Sooo. . . what is a nature journal? That depends. If you are an adult, a nature journal is a fantastic way to get away from the hustle, bustle, and rush, and practice patience, observational skills, and art.  It can be an opportunity to get out and have an outdoor [...]

2005, 2021

Look Up! Explore Our Universe Booklist

By |May 20th, 2021|Categories: Science, Space Exloration|

Age Ranges Infant ABCs of Space By Chris Ferrie and Julia Kregenow Good Night Galaxy by Adam Gamble, Mark Jasper and Cooper Kelly Launch Ladies: An Illustrated Look at the Women who Bring Us to Space! By Jamey Erickson & Leila McNeill, illustrated by Lydia Fusco Pre-K  Here we are : notes for living on planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers  Look Inside Space by Rob Lloyd Jones, Benedetta Giaufret and [...]

2005, 2021

STEAM Engines: Rube Goldberg Machines

By |May 20th, 2021|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, Physics, Science, STEM, Uncategorized|

One of the greatest things about living with my son is watching how his brain works. He is a tinkerer, a “how things work” enthusiast, an engineer, and a builder. Where he sees a world of possibility in a pile of Lego, without clear instructions and a plan I see clutter and confusion. Where I see a mess of sticks, he sees a potential fort. Nothing exemplifies this more than [...]

1905, 2021

(Resource List) Look Up! Explore Our Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope Mission

By |May 19th, 2021|Categories: Science, Space Exloration|

(Resource List) Look Up! Explore Our Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope Mission Look Up! Explore Our Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope Mission – Link Bank Presenters Claire Ratcliffe Adams Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org Dr. Alexandra Lockwood JWST Science Communications alockwood@stsci.edu Yesenia PerezUniverse of Learningyperez@stsci.eduWebinar Recording: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/development/webinars/ James Webb Space Telescope Resources Look Up! Explore Our Universe Event Page https://www.starnetlibraries.org/look-up/Look Up! Explore Our Universe Clearinghouse Activity Collection http://www.starnetlibraries.org/look-up-explore-our-universe-booklist/ [...]

1805, 2021

Electric Aviation Is Here

By |May 18th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

Some people think NASA is all about space exploration, and although that is a significant part of the work they do, the first "A" in NASA stands for Aeronautics. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded in 1958. At that time all of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) facilities were absorbed into the newly formed NASA. The NACA facilities were created in 1915 to research aviation [...]

1405, 2021

Celebrate the Bees – World Bee Day

By |May 14th, 2021|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Science, STEM, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

On December 20, 2017, the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously voted to declare May 20 World Bee Day. Why should we celebrate bees? Why not? The purpose of World Bee Day is to recognize more than just the most well-known of the bees - the European honey bee.  Many people don't know that the honey bee isn't native to North America.  It colonized the western hemisphere with the [...]

1105, 2021

Code Monsters: Computers and Social Emotional Learning at Skokie Library

By |May 11th, 2021|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, Science, STEM, Technology, Uncategorized|

Before I get too deep into this post, I feel I must confess that there was a time in my life when I was a skeptic about gaming in the library. This skepticism was based on a number of misconceptions, the best of them being that nebulous old chestnut “you’ll rot your brain,” and the worst of them being that it’s a highly addictive, antisocial activity with little room for [...]

1105, 2021

NASA’s Artemis Team Wants to Talk to you!

By |May 11th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

Request a virtual chat with NASA’s Artemis Team!!  Artemis Program engineers, managers and communicators are available for a limited number of virtual events during the months of June, July, August and September. You may request a private virtual chat for an in person/virtual summer program or a publicly streamed event on your institution’s Facebook or YouTube page.   The virtual chats must take place Monday – Friday during business hours, [...]

305, 2021

Mission: Control the Spread

By |May 3rd, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

The COVID-19 pandemic at the very least has caused changes and disruption in all our lives, and in some cases it has been much much worse. Through news reports and social media we have been made aware of some of the individuals and organizations combatting the virus. So many are involved in this effort, you may even be surprised to know that NASA has been part of the national effort [...]

105, 2021

Designing the Perfect Paper Airplane

By |May 1st, 2021|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Science|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

One of my most popular programs is also the least expensive and easiest to set up.  All I need are a pile of regular copier paper, a pile of copier paper cut into squares, 2 - 4 large pieces of bulletin board paper with giant targets drawn/painted on them, and the books we'll be using on display in the "engineering and design area," ready to be thumbed through, studied, and [...]

2604, 2021

(Resource List) Deep Dive into SciGirls Strategies

By |April 26th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

Webinar Resources: Deep Dive into Gender Equitable and Culturally Responsive Learning Environments Webinar Resources Facilitators: Claire Ratcliffe Adams Education Coordinator II, Space Science Institute Cratcliffe@spacescience.org Niki Becker STEM Specialist, Twin Cities PBS STEM Media and Education nbecker@tpt.org SciGirls Resources: SciGirls Connect - http://www.scigirlsconnect.org/ SciGirls Strategies: Engaging Girls in STEM - http://www.scigirlsconnect.org/scigirls-strategies-engage-girls-stem/ Tips for Using the SciGirls Strategies - http://www.scigirlsconnect.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/SciGirls-Strategies-Tips.pdf Latina SciGirls - http://www.scigirlsconnect.org/groups/latina-scigirls/ Engaging Latino Families Guide (English) - http://www.scigirlsconnect.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/ScigirlsLatinoFamiliesEnglishFINALFROMWEB.pdf [...]

2604, 2021

(Resource List) do your :bit Challenge with BBC’s micro:bit

By |April 26th, 2021|Categories: Engineering, STEM, Technology, Virtual Presentations|

do your :bit Challenge with BBC’s micro:bit – Link Bank Presenters Claire Ratcliffe Adams Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org Brooks Mitchell Space Science Institute bmitchell@spacescience.org Webinar Recording: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/development/webinars/ do your :bit Challenge Resources do your :bit Challenge Description: https://microbit.org/projects/do-your-bit/ do your :bit Activities http://clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org/174-do-your-bit Circulation Kit Material List http://www.starnetlibraries.org/2020/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Microbit-Kit-Material-List.pdf Patron Instruction Sheet http://www.starnetlibraries.org/2020/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Patron-Instruction-Sheet.pdf U.N. Goal 3: Good Health & Well-being (with related activities) https://microbit.org/projects/do-your-bit/global-goals/good-health-wellbeing/ U.N. Goal 13: Climate Action https://microbit.org/projects/do-your-bit/global-goals/climate-action/ do [...]

2304, 2021

Storytelling With a National Geographic Explorer

By |April 23rd, 2021|Categories: Arts, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, STEM|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have you ever looked through a National Geographic magazine and wondered what it would be like to be a National Geographic explorer?  Well now you can have a chance to find out!  The National Geographic Society has added 3 new courses to its offerings. The introduction to the series is here. These are the courses: 'Storytelling for Impact: Photography' 'Storytelling for Impact: Audio' 'Storytelling for Impact: Video' These courses are [...]

2204, 2021

Citizen Science Spotlight – Birds!

By |April 22nd, 2021|Categories: environmental education|Tags: |

April is Citizen Science month, a great time to get outdoors, have fun while helping out the scientific community at the same time. There are so many different subjects to focus on while looking for a citizen science opportunity. I wanted to wrap up the month by highlighting a few different citizen science initiatives. I was contemplating which one to spotlight first when the Audubon posted an article about H. [...]

1604, 2021

All the Many Observatories in Space! Build Your Own Space Fleet

By |April 16th, 2021|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Science|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today is the first Friday in May.  That means it is National Space Day! What better way to celebrate the day is there than by building your own fleet of model space observatories? On the NASA website there are printable models of a number of spacecraft.  Links to all of the models can be found on the Universe Spacecraft Paper Models page.  There you can download and print: The Great [...]

1604, 2021

Time For Ingenuity To Fly

By |April 16th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

It's nothing but helicopter talk these days! And what exciting days are these. There are so many opportunities to engage kids of all ages with books and activities tied to the small helicopter now sitting on the surface of Mars, named Ingenuity. Perhaps it is because of the helicopters small size at just four pounds, and roughly the size of a large dog, but children are drawn to images of [...]

1604, 2021

Learn to Facilitate Creative Learning in Public Libraries

By |April 16th, 2021|Categories: Engineering, Informal Learning, Math, Science, STEM, Technology|

We’re excited to announce that the PLIX (Public Library Innovation Exchange) team is launching a four-week online course starting April 26th on the topic of Facilitating Creative Learning. This is a chance to delve into the facilitation side of creative learning, exploring some big ideas as well as practical tips around leadership and implementation of STEAM activities. PLIX connects public library professionals and MIT Media Lab researchers to co-design learning [...]

904, 2021

Everyone Knows What Engineering is! – Right?

By |April 9th, 2021|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, STEM, Technology, Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

We all know the word.  We hear it just about every day.  We see it all the time. Engineer The E in STEM, STEAM, and STREAM stands for engineering. But do we know what the word actually means?  What is engineering?  What do engineers do? Of all the letters in STREAM, I think the E has changed more than all the others, growing, evolving, expanding, adding dimensions and details.  I [...]

704, 2021

Join NASA as a Webb Space Telescope Community Events Site

By |April 7th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built and launched into space. It will fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe. This telescope will complement and extend the range of Hubble, and will be the largest telescope ever placed in space; 100 times more powerful than Hubble. As James Webb is scheduled to launch in October 2021 and prepares to begin [...]

2903, 2021

(Resource List) Celebrate Citizen Science Month with SciStarter and STAR Net

By |March 29th, 2021|Categories: Science|

Celebrate Citizen Science Month with SciStarter and STAR Net – Link Bank Presenters Claire Ratcliffe Adams Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org Caroline Nickerson SciStarter carolinehewittnickerson@gmail.com Webinar Recording: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/development/webinars/ Citizen Science Resources Main Citizen Science Month Landing Page: https://CitizenScienceMonth.org Library Resources from SciStarter: https://SciStarter.org/Library-Resources Library Kits: https://SciStarter.org/Library Featured Citizen Science Month Projects: https://SciStarter.org/NLM All of Us Research Program: https://joinallofus.org/nlm More about the All of Us Research program: https://blog.scistarter.org/2021/01/how-one-million-volunteers-could-one-day-revolutionize-medicine/ Library and Community Guide: https://media.scistarter.org/curated/The+Library+and+Community+Guide+to+Citizen+Science.pdf [...]

2303, 2021

Gratitude/Kindness Rocks: Where Science and Art Meet

By |March 23rd, 2021|Categories: Community Engagement|

By Donna Blomquist and Brittany Blomquist LaSalle Public Library Celebrate trees from April 15 to May 15, 2021 by joining the GLOBE citizen science community in the 2021 Community Trees Challenge: Science is Better Together! Connect science and art using the GLOBE Observer: Trees to extend popular rock painting into your library STEAM program. Rocks provide an endless canvas for creativity – here are a few ideas to get you [...]

2303, 2021

2021 Community Trees Challenge: Science is Better Together!

By |March 23rd, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

-Shared from our friends at GLOBE- Are you looking for programming ideas for Earth Day or Citizen Science Month? Libraries are invited to join the 2021 Community Trees Challenge when the GLOBE Program is asking the public to observe, learn, engage, and create as they track their progress on the Trees Challenge activity tracker from April 15-May 15. Learn more at https://observer.globe.gov/trees-2021. While getting out and taking observations might not be [...]

103, 2021

It’s Going To Get Better and Better

By |March 1st, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

I know the internet is awash in coverage of the Perseverance Rover's recent successful landing on Mars on 2/18/21, so why am I posting on the subject? I felt compelled to after the questions posed to me by a 3rd grader during a video Q&A after a recent presentation about Perseverance. The 3rd graders are currently in the middle of their Solar System research, and a few students that had [...]

2302, 2021

Engineering Program Toolkit

By |February 23rd, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

Over the course of several years, Project BUILD team members and partner libraries have developed a wide range of resources to support library staff that are interested in developing, promoting, and facilitating engineering programs in their library.  We’ve categorized these resources into separate groups and listed them out here (some may appear more than once). We hope that you will utilize or feel inspired by them as you bring engineering [...]

2202, 2021

(Resource List) We Are Water: Community Water Connections in the Four Corners Region

By |February 22nd, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

  We Are Water: Community Water Connections in the Four Corners Region - Link Bank Presenters Claire Ratcliffe Adams Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org Patricia (Patty) Montaño CIRES Education & Outreach Associate patricia.montano@colorado.edu Brigitta Rongstad CIRES Education & Outreach brigitta.rongstad@colorado.edu Anne U. Gold Director CIRES Education & Outreach anne.u.gold@colorado.edu Webinar Recording: https://www.starnetlibraries.org/development/webinars/ Sign Up to Receive FREE World Water Day Activities: https://bit.ly/WAW-Webinar Follow We Are Water Newsletter Signup: http://www.starnetlibraries.org/about/our-projects/we-are-water/#newsletter-signup STAR Net [...]

702, 2021

NASA’s Universe of Learning Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA “Program Cookbook”

By |February 7th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

Provided by the GSAWN Team The Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA (GSAWN) project within NASA’s Universe of Learning empowers libraries and community-based organizations to engage girls and their families in exploring the wonders of NASA science and celebrate the contributions of women to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). This Program Cookbook is designed to guide you as you create your own Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA event using [...]

101, 2021

Looking Forward and Looking Back with Story Musgrave

By |January 1st, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|

I am sure you, like most of us at this time of year we take a moment to look back on the year, to think of the future and in a year like 2020 to maybe take a few looks sideways as well!  One of my favorite things that happened in the year 2020 was the launch of the Perseverance  Rover on a mission to Mars to begin securing samples [...]

3012, 2020

STEAM Engines from home: the busiest physicists

By |December 30th, 2020|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Physics, Science, STEM, Virtual Presentations|

Towards the end of summer, I fell victim to one of those AMAZING PAINTING YOU WILL BE MESMERIZED type videos floating around on social media. I admit that, like a cartoon squirrel presented with a decoy nut, I am easily captivated. I am handily distracted by cookie decorating videos. TRANSFORM THIS OLD WHATCHAMACALLIT INTO SOMETHING (objectively useless but still) COOL videos regularly siphon valuable minutes off my life. But readers, [...]

312, 2020

A Woman of Many Firsts

By |December 3rd, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

(Astronaut Christina Koch working on board the ISS, image credit: NASA) NASA astronaut Christina Koch has already set numerous records in her brief career with the agency. I recently had the opportunity to interview Christina via telephone from her home in Houston, Texas. I ask how she is feeling these days after her record setting 328 day stay onboard the International Space Station (ISS)?  "I feel really good. I have [...]

2811, 2020

STEAM Engines: Nephology

By |November 28th, 2020|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, environmental education, Informal Learning, Science, STEM|

We had a beautiful summer in Skokie, and though I really miss being in the library and getting to see all of our eager young science friends, There have been some real silver linings (cloud reference segue absolutely intended!). Always somewhat outdoorsy, this summer, the kids and I spent an unprecedented amount of time outside, taking walks, playing in the yard, and a new game - watching for shapes in [...]

711, 2020

(Resource List) Computational Thinking: Empowering Teens to be Creators of Technology

By |November 7th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Follow the STAR Library Network http://www.starnetlibraries.org/ https://www.facebook.com/STARLibraries/ https://www.starnetlibraries.org/register/ https://twitter.com/starnet_project Featured STAR Net Activities (Unplugged) Clearinghouse “Computational Thinking” Collection http://clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org/131-computational-thinking Binary Bead Craft: Bracelet (or Necklace) Version http://clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org/technology-and-computing/227-binary-bead-craft-bracelet-or-necklace-version.html?search_query=binary+bead+craft&results=2 Passion for Pixels http://clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org/technology-and-computing/345-passion-for-pixels.html Something is Different About You http://clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org/mathematics/276-something-is-different-about-you.html Anomaly Adventures: Through the Eyes of a Computer http://clearinghouse.starnetlibraries.org/activities/490-anomaly-adventures-through-the-eyes-of-a-computer.html Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set https://www.learningresources.com/code-gor-robot-mouse-activity-set Featured STAR Net Activities (Plugged-In) SciGames http://www.scigames.org/index.php?bypass=true Rover Coder and other free apps http://www.scigames.org/apps.php Computational Thinking [...]

2810, 2020

New Community Dialogue Resources to Support Equity in Your Library

By |October 28th, 2020|Categories: Community Engagement, Dialogue, Dialogue, Informal Learning|Tags: , |

The STAR Net team has been hard at work gathering resources to support Community Dialogues (including virtual dialogues during COVID) from around the informal education world. Consider these resources a sneak peak of the new STAR Net Community Dialogue site that's coming soon. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our draft resources, and feel free to reach out to us with questions or comments! To access all the new [...]

2610, 2020

World Origami Days are Here! 20 Days of Workshops and Tutorials

By |October 26th, 2020|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Like so many conferences, festivals, and other events, World Origami Days has gone virtual this year. Beginning on October 24, the birthday of Lillian Oppenheimer (1898-1992), who founded the first origami group in the USA and was one of the founders of OrigamiUSA and the British Origami Society, this event will host workshops and tutorials daily through November 11, which is Origami Day in Japan. Everyone who registers will receive [...]

2610, 2020

Cornell is offering an E-STEM Education course – Register by October 28!

By |October 26th, 2020|Categories: environmental education, General|Tags: , , |

Hello everyone! I browsed my way to this course being offered by Cornell University the other day, and contacted the administrators.  They have agreed to extend the registration deadline until October 28 so that I could get the word out to.  It looks like a great opportunity, so if you can, take advantage.   E-STEM Education is designed for teachers and nonformal educators who want to help youth become scientifically [...]

2610, 2020

Application Deadlines for DiscoverE’s Outreach Grants Are Approaching Fast

By |October 26th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Application deadlines for DiscoverE's outreach grants are approaching fast! Don't miss your chance to fund your events for Engineers Week and Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. APPLY TODAY! We have $250-$1000 grants available for virtual and in-person programs: Due Oct 31: Bell Girl Day grants for girl-centered programs Due Nov 14: Engineers Week grants for underserved students Looking for more resources in engineering outreach? Check out our best practices [...]

2610, 2020

Virtualizing Your Programs and Activities

By |October 26th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Have you felt like remote learning during COVID-19 has been hectic and stressful? You are not alone and it doesn’t have to feel that way going forward. Join MMSA's ACRES Project today and participate in highly interactive coaching sessions. The ACRES Project brings together afterschool educators in live and interactive virtual workshops. They create small communities of reflection, so you have a safe and brave space to learn new skills. They offer you [...]

2410, 2020

A Chill in the Air and Color in the Trees

By |October 24th, 2020|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Science, Spacial Thinking, STEM, Tutorials, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

There's been a bit of a chill in the air the last week or so, a frequent thumping on the roof of pecans falling out of the tree in the yard, and a sense of frantic feasting radiating from the hummingbirds who frequent the feeders on my porch.  Autumn is here. One of my favorite things to do as the seasons slip away from summer and toward winter is to [...]

2110, 2020

(Resource List) STEAM Learning in Public Libraries: A “Guide on the Side” Approach for Inclusive Learning

By |October 21st, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

STEAM Learning in Public Libraries: A "Guide on the Side" Approach for Inclusive Learning Webinar Resources Presenters: Brooks Mitchell, Education Coordinator II, STAR Net/Space Science Institute bmitchell@spacescience.org Claire Ratcliffe Adams, Education Coordinator II, STAR Net/Space Science Institute cratcliffe@spacescience.org Keliann LaConte, Professional Development Manager, STAR Net/Space Science Institute klaconte@spacescience.org   Publication Resources Association for Library Service to Children Children & Libraries journal Article: STEAM Learning in Public Libraries: A “Guide on the Side” [...]

1310, 2020

A Magnetic Attraction

By |October 13th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

If you are al all like me, you have been revisiting how to best present STEAM programming in the current COVID-19 environment. While every town has different levels of protocols in place, most in-person events have been put on hold, and while I have had a lot of success with some online events, I know young people are more engaged by hands-on activities. I have two opportunities I would like [...]

1010, 2020

STEAM Engines from home: Catapults!

By |October 10th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Moving our STEAM Engines programming to an online, recorded format has been a treat and a learning experience as we struggle to find relatable, interesting content for kids each month. In person, it is important to me to root our STEM concept in art, literature, and music, so I typically begin each program with a read-aloud. As we have moved the program online, copyright has made finding supplementary reading and [...]

610, 2020

Libraries Invited to Bring Engineering and Engineers to their Community: A Virtual Program during November 2020

By |October 6th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is partnering with the STAR Library Network (STAR Net) and its Project BUILD engineering program. Project BUILD is supported by the National Science Foundation. We invite public libraries across the country to participate in an exciting virtual engineering experience this coming November called Dream – Build – Create, an introduction to engineers and engineering for people of all ages, especially families and children. [...]

1609, 2020

Story Time from Space: Live Downlink

By |September 16th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

LIVE DOWNLINK TO BE RESCHEDULED Unfortunately, this downlink will have to be rescheduled by NASA. Until then, enjoy all of the other Story Time From Space readings & science videos on www.storytimefromspace.com   Story Time From Space is having their first LIVE DOWNLINK from the International Space Station on Monday, September 21, 2020 at 10:30 am Central. For this live downlink, Astronaut CAPT Chris Cassidy will be doing a live reading of the book, Willow the [...]

1409, 2020

(Resource List) Culturally Responsive STEAM Programming: Engaging Latinx Communities in Rural Areas

By |September 14th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

STEAM Equity Webinar Resource List Contact Claire Ratcliffe (cratcliffe@spacescience.org) or BeeBee Browne (bbbrowne@ala.org) for questions Guest Presenters: Veronica Casanova, Librarian IV, Tulare County Library System, Exeter Branch Library Veronica.casanova@tularecountylibrary.org   Flo Trujillo, President of REFORMA New Mexico flotrujillonm@gmail.com   Miguel Ruiz, Supervising Librarian, Evanston Public Library mruiz@cityofevanston.org   Keliann LaConte, Principle Investigator, STEAM Equity project Professional Development Manager, STAR Net/Space Science Institute klaconte@spacescience.org   Culturally Responsive Resources: Reforma de Nuevo México [...]

909, 2020

(Resource List) Level Up Your Facilitation and be a “Guide on the Side” for Virtual and In-Person STEAM Programs

By |September 9th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Hi everyone! This is the resource list of links for the CAL 2020 Pre-Conference Workshop, Level Up Your Facilitation and be a "Guide on the Side" for Virtual and In-Person STEAM Programs.  Contacts: Anne Holland (aholland@spacescience.org) Brooks Mitchell (bmitchell@spacescience.org) Claire Ratcliffe (cratcliffe@spacescience.org) Keliann LaConte (klaconte@spacescience.org) Workshop Agenda The STAR Library Network (STAR Net) Guide on the Side website Guide on the Side video Guide on the Side flyer STEM Activity Clearinghouse: [...]

809, 2020

SciStarter: Resources for Libraries

By |September 8th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Citizen Science and Libraries With support from the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, SciStarter and Arizona State University (ASU) are supporting libraries and community-based organizations as hubs for citizen science. In addition to offering turnkey citizen science kits for libraries, the team provides training and materials, including the Library and Community Guide to Citizen Science (discoverable on SciStarter.org/library-resources), to [...]

709, 2020

Steam From Home: Side Scooper

By |September 7th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Around May of 2020, it became pretty clear that library programming was going to look different for the foreseeable future. Having successfully produced the Saponify! video, it seemed like, while not a perfect vehicle, a regular STEAM video program could serve as a stand in for my in-person monthly STEAM Engines program. Hence, the STEAM Engines from home series began. We rolled out a plan for two videos, produced monthly, [...]

3108, 2020

Tweens and STEM in the Library

By |August 31st, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

The National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute closed out its partnership with the Urban Libraries Council’s Partners for Middle School STEM project. The project, which kicked off in January 2019, brought together 10 public library systems to create and implement Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs for underserved youth, ages 10-13. NCIL Education Coordinators, Brooks Mitchell and Claire Ratcliffe, and Professional Development Manager, Keliann [...]

3108, 2020

Closing the Gender Gap: Developing Gender Equitable STEAM Programs

By |August 31st, 2020|Categories: STEM|

Closing the Gender Gap: Developing Gender Equitable STEAM Programs Webinar Resources Contact: Claire Ratcliffe (cratcliffe@spacescience.org) for questions Guest Presenters: Niki Becker STEM Specialist, Twin Cities PBS STEM Media and Education nbecker@tpt.org Kristin Pederson Senior Director, Twin Cities PBS STEM Media and Education STEM Project Development and Communications kpederson@tpt.org Keliann LaConte Principle Investigator, STEAM Equity project Professional Development Manager, STAR Net/Space Science Institute klaconte@spacescience.org SciGirls Resources: · SciGirls Connect - http://www.scigirlsconnect.org/ [...]

2608, 2020

Earth Citizen Science with GLOBE Observer Resource List

By |August 26th, 2020|Categories: STEM|

Earth Citizen Science with GLOBE Observer Resource List 8/27/2020 Contact: Claire Ratcliffe (cratcliffe@spacescience.org) Guest Presenters: Theresa Schwerin Vice President, Education Programs Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) Theresa_schwerin@strategies.org Donna Blomquist Youth Services Librarian LaSalle Public Library dmblomquist@lasalle.lib.il.us Brittany Blomquist Program Outreach Coordinator LaSalle Public Library et.alibi@gmail.com Vivienne Byrd STEAM Librarian III Los Angeles Public Library vbyrd@lapl.org Citizen Science Resources: GLOBE Observer: https://observer.globe.gov Elementary GLOBE  - https://www.globe.gov/web/elementary-globe Library Video Resources  Making Observations with GLOBE Observer [...]

2408, 2020

Virtual Community Dialogues

By |August 24th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

2020 has not been the year anyone expected. In the first three months of the new year businesses were shuttered, schools closed, millions unemployed, and for libraries across the country, in-person programming ended. Community leaders at libraries and other organizations felt a desperate need to impact their communities in a relevant way. Libraries acknowledged the digital divide - moving WIFI routers to the front of their buildings for patrons in [...]

1408, 2020

Quarantine and the Moon

By |August 14th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Left to Right, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin in the Mobil Quarantine Facility are pictured with president Nixon onboard the USS Hornet. Image Credit: NASA Almost everyone knows the date that astronauts first walked on the Moon, July 20, 1969. Another lesser known date is when the Apollo 11 astronauts were finishing up the last day of their three-week quarantine  exactly 51 years this week in August 1969. [...]

1208, 2020

Strengthen Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in STEM

By |August 12th, 2020|Categories: Informal Learning, STEM, Uncategorized|

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility are fundamental values in the library community. The work to strengthen these areas is necessary and ongoing and can be done at the personal level, as a team, and with our communities. Below are some resources to help guide the journey towards ensuring people, especially those facing the greatest barriers in our society, have equitable and accessible opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). [...]

1008, 2020

Beyond S-T-E-A-M: Playing, Creating, and Exploring

By |August 10th, 2020|Categories: Community Engagement|

Credit: Muhlenberg Community Library Some of us associate science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics ("STEAM") with FUN and MEANING for ourselves and our friends and family. We might imagine rockets blasting into space and the excitement of exploring the universe, or we might appreciate the chemicals in our sunscreen that keep us safe from UV. We might even realize how much STEAM is in our favorite hobbies, from the [...]

508, 2020

NASA Subject Matter Expert (SME) Videos to Share with Your Patrons!

By |August 5th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

If you've attended a STAR Net webinar, workshop, or other training event, you may have heard our team talk about the importance of introducing your patrons to subject matter experts (SMEs), such as engineers, scientists, technicians, and more. SMEs can inspire your patrons and take the burden of "content knowledge" off of library staff. Patrons that do not often see themselves represented in STEAM fields may really appreciate and benefit from seeing [...]

3107, 2020

Resource Guide: Black Lives in Astronomy

By |July 31st, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

"Black Lives in Astronomy," a new 8-page resource guide by astronomer/educator Andrew Fraknoi, includes written and video resources about and by 25 black astronomers, as well as general materials to examine the history and issues facing black members of the astronomical community. Both older, established scientists and people early in their careers are covered. It is aimed at the Astro 101 and amateur astronomer level, and thus does not include [...]

2707, 2020

STEAM From Home: Soap Magic

By |July 27th, 2020|Categories: Arts, Chemistry, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Science, STEM, Uncategorized|

Like everyone else, the question of connection looms large during this pandemic. Connection with patrons, connecting ideas - how to provide these meaningful experiences remotely? Especially STEAM for a young audience. When so much of the learning is experiential, how can we can reach our patrons? I have a glass half full (depending on the day) situation wherein I have two naturally curious, creative, youngsters at home, one of whom [...]

1707, 2020

Resources for “STEAM for Everyone”; CAL’s Power & Privilege at Play Conference (7.17.20)

By |July 17th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Hi everyone! This is a quick resource list for the presentation, "STEAM for Everyone: A Stepping Stone Approach to Overcoming Barriers to Access," taking place through the Colorado Association of Library's  Power and Privilege at Play: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity in the Library virtual conference on July 17, 2020. High Plains Library District  Greeley Rodarte Center Follow the STAR Library Network http://www.starnetlibraries.org/ https://www.facebook.com/STARLibraries/ https://www.starnetlibraries.org/register/ https://twitter.com/starnet_project Ready, Set, Create Logo: http://www.starnetlibraries.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Ready-Set-Create-Logo.jpg Engineering Design [...]

1607, 2020

Enough Space For Us All

By |July 16th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Image credit: The Planetary Society I often have people come up to me after presentations to ask how they can be more involved. It is a great question, and there are so many great answers. First of all there are membership organizations. These are usually annual memberships with an associated fee, and options such as a regular magazine (that you can choose a digital or print magazine mailed to you). [...]

1407, 2020

2020 Community Cloud Challenge

By |July 14th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Join the NASA GLOBE 2020 Community Cloud Challenge! Whether your library programs have gone virtual, curbside, or you’re able to host in-person events, you can invite your patrons to discover clouds from a new perspective. We all share the same sky with a wide variety of clouds in it. This is unique opportunity to learn about clouds together. Choose how to participate Take observations: Observe clouds or sky conditions using the [...]

607, 2020

Resources for “Take Your Patrons to Mars” Webinar (7.7.20)

By |July 6th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Link Bank for Take Your Patrons to Mars Webinar – 7 July 2020 Presenters: Brooks Mitchell and Claire Ratcliffe (STAR Net), Christine Shupla, Sha’Rell Webb, and Dr. Candice Bedford (Lunar and Planetary Institute) Contact: Brooks Mitchell (bmitchell@spacescience.org) or Christine Shupla (shupla@lpi.usra.edu) for questions. Description: NASA is about to launch the Mars 2020 mission – and now is the time to get your patrons excited! The Perseverance rover will launch between July [...]

1606, 2020

Resource List for 6.18.20 Webinar: Virtual Night Sky Programs for “Imagine Your Story”

By |June 16th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Hi everyone! This blog is a list of resources for our June 18, 2020 webinar, "Virtual Night Sky Programs for 'Imagine Your Story'” - you can find out more information about the webinar here.  Presenters: Brooks Mitchell (STAR Net), Christine Shupla and Sha’Rell Webb (Lunar and Planetary Institute), Belinda Calvillo and Liliana Alonso [with Sofia] (Pasadena Public Library, TX) Contact: Brooks Mitchell (bmitchell@spacescience.org) or Christine Shupla (shupla@lpi.usra.edu) for questions. Invite your [...]

1206, 2020

(Resource List) STAR Net’s STEAM Equity Project Pre-Application Webinar

By |June 12th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Hi everyone! Thanks to everyone who was able to join us on June 16, 2020 for STAR Net’s STEAM Equity Project Pre-Application Webinar. This blog post will provide more information on this grant opportunity, as well as links to the webinar recording, webinar slides, chat trancript, and resources discussed during the webinar. This webinar covered a new and exciting project, STAR Net STEAM Equity Project: Enhancing Learning Opportunities in Libraries of Rural [...]

2705, 2020

Resource List for “Virtual Programs 101: Behind the Scenes with STAR Net”

By |May 27th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Hi everyone! We're trying something new for tomorrow's webinar: instead of a PDF, we're turning our "Link Bank" into a Blog Post! That way, we can edit the list and add resources that are brought up during the webinar! We can also use this as a place to post webinar follow-ups. It's just a "test run"; but we hope that it makes finding the resources easier for everyone! Best, Brooks, [...]

2605, 2020

10, 9, 8, 7….3, 2, 1, Launch America!!!

By |May 26th, 2020|Categories: astronomy, Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, NASA, Next Generation Science Standards, Science, Space Exloration, STEM, Technology, Virtual Presentations|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe, and socially distanced Memorial Day Holiday! Now to prepare for the historic event tomorrow that will mark the first launch of American astronauts into space in an American rocket from an American launchpad since the shuttle program was retired in 2011. The crew for this mission are Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley:                   They will be launching from Launch Complex [...]

2105, 2020

Julie Andrews Reads Aloud and Remote Control BirdBrain Robots

By |May 21st, 2020|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, STEM, Technology, Virtual Presentations|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hello again! I wanted to point out two online resources that I failed to mention yesterday. One is Julie's Library.   Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton have begun offering podcast storytimes.  I first knew of  Julie Andrews as the main character in the movie "The Sound of Music," but by the time she performed in that movie she was already famous.  She'd already performed in "My Fair Lady" [...]

2005, 2020

Build Your Own Solar System and Resource Update

By |May 20th, 2020|Categories: Arts, astronomy, Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, NASA, Science, STEM|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hello everyone!  I hope everyone is healthy and at home. To start off, I want to share this really cool resource I found this morning, and which has kept me distracted (granted that isn't hard to do) for longer than I care to admit.  It's an online game in which you get to create your own solar system, and watch it develop through time.  Thankfully it isn't real time, or [...]

705, 2020

STEAM Engines: Awwwww, Spiders

By |May 7th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Sometimes the best laid plans fail, and that can feel rough, but like my daughter says “mistakes help you learn!” and she is absolutely right. This was absolutely the case with my STEAM Engines (Skokie Public Library’s science club for K-2nd grade) program about spiders. The idea to learn about spiders was birthed from a rumor (stated as a fact) that I’d heard claiming spiders do not stick to their [...]

2804, 2020

Happy Superhero Day!

By |April 28th, 2020|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

April 28 is National Superhero Day! Marvel marked the day by celebrating the heroes on all our minds and thoughts these days - nurses, doctors, EMT's, first responders, medical researchers, grocery store workers, restaurant workers offering curb-side and delivered meals, long-haulers and delivery drivers, production workers, and all the thousands of others who risk their lives daily by going to work so that the rest of us can shelter in place. [...]

2704, 2020

Aloha from Thelma Parker Memorial Public and School Library!

By |April 27th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

As we hunker down in Waimea (aka Kamuela) on the island of Hawaii, I hope this finds you doing well. I recently heard from our friends and NASA@My Library partners at the Maunakea Observatories, who recently launched an online series of STEM videos for K-12 students and families. I wanted to share this resource with you and take a moment to acknowledge the wonderful support we’ve received from Maunakea Observatories. It’s fun [...]

2304, 2020

World Book Day and GISH Scavenger Hunt for Covid-19 Relief

By |April 23rd, 2020|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy World Book Day, everyone! Also known as World Book and Copyright Day and International Day of the Book, this celebration that is more well-known in the U.K.  than in the U. S.  was first held in 1995.  Organized by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization to promote reading, publishing, and copyright, World Book Day takes place on April 23 each year.  This particular date was chosen because [...]

404, 2020

Sounds of the Mountains Storytelling Festival, Dolly Parton, and More Available Online

By |April 4th, 2020|Categories: Arts, Community Engagement, Elementary Aged, General, Pre-School, Presentations, Uncategorized, Virtual Presentations|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hey, everyone! I hope everyone is staying at home and healthy. I wanted to share some exciting news! Instead of canceling the Sounds of the Mountains Storytelling Festival this year, the organizers and storytellers have opted to offer it virtually, free, and forever!! In fact, I am listening to a great story as I write this blog! Please check it out. There is little in life that can beat a [...]

2903, 2020

Online Resources for Home-bound #3

By |March 29th, 2020|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Pre-School, STEM, Virtual Presentations|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hello again!  I hope this post finds everyone staying at home and safe. It's amazing how much can be found on the internet to keep a person entertained and learning while we're hanging out at home.  I'm taking classes on all kinds of subjects from several different sites myself these days.  I'm almost finished with all the courses on Code.org.  That site is like playing a game all day!  I'm [...]

2603, 2020

Online Resources for Homebound Families #2

By |March 26th, 2020|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, NASA, Pre-School, Science, Space Exloration, Uncategorized, Virtual Presentations|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Here is my next list of resources for folks staying home for health and safety  In this list I have collected some virtual tours of museums and zoos, and sites that offer collections of books that are free to read. (I'll be searching for graphic novels and comic books next.) If you find a broken link, please let me know so that I can correct it. If there is a [...]

2203, 2020

On-line Resources for Homebound Families #1

By |March 22nd, 2020|Categories: Arts, astronomy, Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Math Activities, Math games, Middle School Aged, Moon, NASA, Pre-School, Science, Space Exloration, STEM, Tutorials, Uncategorized, Virtual Presentations|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I, like the rest of the country, am at home these days.  Fortunately for me, I have always been good at keeping myself entertained.  Today though, many kids aren't as good at that as in generations past.  Anyone in my childhood household who said the word 'bored' would get such a long list of chores to do from my mother that the word would never pass through those lips again. [...]

1802, 2020

February is Feed the Birds Month!

By |February 18th, 2020|Categories: Community Engagement, Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Science|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

On February 23, 1994, February was declared 'National Bird Feeding Month' by Congress. If you want to narrow things down to one day, February 3 is 'Feed the Birds Day.' February is one of the hardest months of the year for many animals in North America, especially those who depend on seeds and plants for food. That would make it the perfect time to start a new hobby - bird [...]

402, 2020

Citizen Science Month: Resources for Libraries

By |February 4th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

What is Citizen Science? As we face global challenges, we may want to find local ways to make a difference in protecting endangered species, safeguarding water sources, preventing disease, or accelerating medical research. Science needs more eyes, ears and perspectives than any scientist possesses. Enter citizen science: a collaboration between scientists and those of us who are just curious or concerned and motivated to make a difference. For researchers, citizen [...]

1501, 2020

Make Every Tree Count: Programs You Can Use

By |January 15th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Note: This blog is Part 2 of a previous post, Make Every Tree Count: Getting Started in Sustainability Programming   Host a Community Tree Walk. Because the destination must be easily accessible for library patrons of all abilities, the site, whether the library’s property, a community park, or someplace further that might require driving, such as a conservation area, should be considered with the patron in mind. Local resources, such as the [...]

1401, 2020

Make Every Tree Count: Getting Started in Sustainability Programming

By |January 14th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

Trees provide one of the most versatile themes for library programs. Whether your audience is families, adults, children or classrooms/youth groups, “Trees” can provide a foundation for affordable and useful programs for libraries of all sizes -- uniting art and community with citizen science. Now is an ideal time to plan “tree-themed” programming for 2020. Not only is April 2020 Citizen Science Month, it’s also the 50th anniversary of Earth [...]

601, 2020

Cosmic Fireworks: Make Your Own Festive Galaxy with NASA’s Astrophoto Challenges

By |January 6th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|

by Quyen Hart, Space Telescope Science Institute Join NASA's Universe of Learning for an exciting opportunity to use real astronomical data and tools to create your own beautiful images of the iconic starburst galaxy M82. You can capture your own real-time telescope image of M82 using the MicroObservatory robotic telescope network, or you can work with an archived set of NASA data files of M82, taken with 4 multi-wavelength space telescope [...]

3112, 2019

STEAM Engines: You Won’t See Me

By |December 31st, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

A conversation about superpowers during a STEAM Engines (Skokie Library's K-2 science club) program on the science of flight culminated in a split vote. Me: flight - I mean COME ON - vs. the kids: invisibility, which naturally meant that our next program would have to be about being invisible. It’s a real bonus when the kids are excited about the subject matter, and to be fair, I was too. [...]

2012, 2019

Ocean Acidification

By |December 20th, 2019|Categories: Chemistry, Informal Learning, Science|

This month’s Be the Scientist program for grades 3-5 focused on a single experiment about ocean acidification. It’s been a little while since we provided a more STEM based program where everyone follows along with specific instructions, but we see the value in exposing youth patrons to the scientific method while also including room for processing observations and debriefing the activity to really drive home specific concepts. Here’s what we [...]

312, 2019

Celebrate CSED Week from Dec. 9th-15th!

By |December 3rd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Computer Science Education Week is an annual program started in 2009 to raise awareness about the growing prevalence of computing in all careers and to underscore the importance of computer science education for people of all ages. It is held every year in December (9th-15th this year) in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). Libraries, schools, and afterschool programs around the world participate [...]

3011, 2019

STEAM Engines: falling for you

By |November 30th, 2019|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, environmental education, Informal Learning, Science, STEM|

As it often does in the Midwest, the fall began in all its resplendence - sun shining through the foliage, colors changing majestically, a cozy crispness in the air. And then it snowed. A lot. And it stuck, leaving us incongruously with deep snow and trees full of not-quite-changed leaves. It was amazing to look at, a reminder that wonder exists in the unexpected. My kids and I spent Halloween [...]

1911, 2019

Vermicomposting

By |November 19th, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Science|

November programs at Skokie Public Library focused on food in a variety of ways. On Mondays, we provided an International Snack Cart showcasing local restaurants and continued our Be the Chef workshop series. To align with this theme, Be the Scientist, a hands-on STEAM program for grades 3-5, featured vermicomposting this month. Here’s what we did. Program supplies We purchased shoe-box sized plastic bins and limited the program [...]

811, 2019

Mercury is on the Main Stage Monday!

By |November 8th, 2019|Categories: astronomy, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, NASA, Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

There is going to be a special event this coming Monday.  The planet Mercury will be passing between the Sun and the Earth.  It's called a Mercury Transit, and it is a rare occurrence.  The next time such an event will be visible from the United States will be 2049.  There will be one in 2032 and another in 2039, but they won't be visible to anyone in North America. [...]

2810, 2019

Exploring the Lunar Surface

By |October 28th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, Be the Scientist, a STEAM program for grades 3-5, explored the lunar surface this month. This program series generally has a short slide presentation to introduce the topic and the hands on challenge. Additionally, this month we were able to feature a lunar sample disk from NASA Johnson Space Center. Here’s what we did. The program was based off of [...]

410, 2019

Art Magic With Markers

By |October 4th, 2019|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Science, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

I've had the opportunity lately to do something that I haven't been able to do in a very long time - ART! There are few things as much fun as taking brilliant colors mixing them on paper to create wonderful things.  It is important for children to have the opportunity to just play with color, and discover the the wonder of it while learning how color works and blends.  That [...]

310, 2019

Robotics With Cubelets

By |October 3rd, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Technology, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Over the last year or so, I've done a number of programs using Cubelets.  For anyone unfamiliar with them, they are cube-shaped modules that connect to one another magnetically to create 'robots.'  Each module has a single function.  There's a power Cube, that contains the rechargeable battery, and the On/Off switch.  The rest are divided into ' Sense Cubes,' 'Think Cubes,' and 'Act Cubes.' The Sense Cubes in the [...]

3009, 2019

Pitch and Frequency

By |September 30th, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, STEM|

This month’s Be the Scientist program for kids in grades 3-5 returned to sound exploration like we did last Fall with the Science of Sound program. This time, we aligned it with Hispanic Heritage month to offer a suite of programs that focused on South American cultures. And the result was exploring pitch and frequency with Pipes of Pan. Here’s what we did. We started off with a brief slideshow [...]

1209, 2019

Celebrating 10 Years of Lunar Science, Exploration and Celestial Observation!

By |September 12th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

by Andrea Jones, NASA's Solar System Exploration Division 10 years ago, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and its sister mission Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) entered lunar orbit. From the interest and enthusiasm at events celebrating the occasion, International Observe the Moon Night was born. Today, International Observe the Moon Night is now a worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration, celestial observation, and the cultural and personal connections we have to [...]

209, 2019

STEAM Engines: We Dig Dirt

By |September 2nd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

What do you call a chicken who crosses the road, rolls around in the dirt, then comes back?* Alas, this particular joke went over the heads of every participant in this month’s STEAM Engines at Skokie Library, but it was the perfect entry into our discussion about dirt - or more specifically soil. Same thing, right? As it it turns out, there’s a difference, and if you ask a soil [...]

3008, 2019

Evaluating STEAM Experiences

By |August 30th, 2019|Categories: General, Informal Learning|

Earlier this month I participated in a forum about library makerspaces and how we evaluate engagement and measure success. Since my library’s equivalent of a makerspace is STEAM focused, I used my time at the forum to reflect on how I have been evaluating the BOOMbox and related STEAM programming for youth.  End of Shift Report used to collect data. When the BOOMbox opened in November of 2014, [...]

2808, 2019

Public Libraries Are Ideal Venues for Teen Science Cafés

By |August 28th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

By Michelle Hall and Michael Mayhew Co-directors, Teen Science Café Network A teen science café brings high school teens together in a social setting to have a lively conversation with a scientist on some interesting and timely topic. In a teen café program, teens organize all aspects of it with the help of an adult mentor, and hands-on learning activities allow teens to interact one-on-one with the presenter and reveal more [...]

2208, 2019

Thank you, NASA

By |August 22nd, 2019|Categories: General, NASA, Science, Technology, Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

I want to begin today by apologizing for having disappeared for a while.  My disappearance wasn't by choice, but sharing my story does give me the opportunity to celebrate NASA, and everything it has accomplished over the last several decades. So, for any one who is curious, here's the story of my spring and summer... I was going about my day to day business, and enthusiastically planning my summer programs [...]

508, 2019

Exploring Space: Smart Spacecraft, Big Data, and Modeling Reality

By |August 5th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

By Claire Ratcliffe, Education Coordinator @ NCIL/SSI STAR Net recently launched a national traveling exhibition, Exploring Space: Smart Spacecraft, Big Data, and Modeling Reality. It will be hosted at four different libraries across the country over the course of the next year and showcases the evolving role of computing in space science and astronomy. The four host libraries include Westminster Public Library in Colorado, Brentwood Public Library in Tennessee, Algona Public [...]

3107, 2019

Exploring Insects

By |July 31st, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, Informal Learning, Science|

This summer, Skokie Public Library committed to providing quality STEAM programs for youth in elementary grades while in the hustle that is summer reading. Youth Services Librarian Gudrun Premier facilitated a Be the Scientist program for grades 3-5 earlier this month and focused on insects. Here’s what she did. Gudrun began the program in our youth program room with an introductory slide show about insects. She focused on how and [...]

2607, 2019

Challenges and Strategies for Engaging Underserved and Underrepresented Audiences in Informal STEM Learning: Lessons Learned from Project BUILD

By |July 26th, 2019|Categories: Community Engagement|

by Keliann LaConte, National Center for Interactive Learning, Space Science Institute and Jen Jocz, Education Development Center Through Project BUILD, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) volunteers and public library staff are working together to engage children in grades 2-5 and their families in age-appropriate, technology-rich STEM learning experiences that are based on the Engineering Design Process. Project BUILD focuses on reaching audiences traditionally underserved and underrepresented in STEM. The combination of [...]

507, 2019

STEAM Engines: Black Holes

By |July 5th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

One of my favorite things about kid science programming at the library is the journey of discovery. I was as excited as the next curious citizen when the photo of the black hole was released in April. I was eager to show it to my son, who is generally fascinated by all things space, and I was not disappointed. “But mom,” he asked me, “what IS it?” and I found [...]

207, 2019

Explore “A Universe of Stories” with New NASA Resources

By |July 2nd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

By Emma Marcucci, Space Telescope Science Institute Continue the exploration ignited by this summer’s reading theme "A Universe of Stories" with new resources and opportunities from NASA’s Universe of Learning and Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA. In this post, we will talk about three new resources: An opportunity to receive a travelling or permanent poster exhibit on the universe, A DIY Astrophoto Challenge, and Newly released thematic resource guides.   1. [...]

107, 2019

GO Oklahoma! A Citizen Science Challenge

By |July 1st, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

By Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environment Strategies (IGES) The GO Oklahoma! citizen science challenge (June 15-Oct. 31, 2019) is part of the GLOBE Mission Mosquito campaign, co-led by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and NASA GSFC. Citizen scientists in the greater Oklahoma City/Norman, OK metropolitan area are collecting GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper data to support NASA research by partner scientists Dr. Mike Wimberly, University of Oklahoma, Norman, [...]

3006, 2019

BLOOMbox All Summer Long

By |June 30th, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, STEM|

This summer the BOOMbox, our self-directed STEAM learning space, is looking at topics related to gardening, botany, and ecology and has been dubbed BLOOMbox for the duration of the rotation. We’ve focused on these topics previously and have found our community is really drawn to the hands-on learning associated with gardening alongside discussion topics related to ecology, sustainability, and conservation. We learned a lot from the first go around and [...]

2006, 2019

LINK Program Intern Comes to SSI: Part 2

By |June 20th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Willa Kopp-DeVol, a Junior at Animas High School in Durango, Colorado, recently served a 3 week internship at the Space Science Institute (SSI) in which she worked with both the research and education departments. Her school’s Leading Internships for New Knowledge (LINK) Program takes students beyond the classroom walls in order to clarify personal, college and career goals while teaching invaluable professional skills and life lessons. Below is the second installment of [...]

306, 2019

Participate in Evaluation of NASA’s Summer 2019 AstroPhoto Challenge

By |June 3rd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

  By Colleen Manning, Director or Research, Goodman Research Group   Dear STAR Net Librarian, I’m writing to let you know about an opportunity to participate in an evaluation of NASA’s AstroPhoto Challenge—an exciting summer STEM learning experience using MicroObservatory telescopes, astro-image enhancement tools, and real NASA data. The evaluator for NASA’s Universe of Learning is seeking group leaders interested in facilitating a NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge workshop in June or July. [...]

2805, 2019

Be the Scientist: Tie-Dye

By |May 28th, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Uncategorized|

One of my favorite STEAM programs is tie-dye. This can be presented as a family drop-in event, perhaps on the library’s front lawn, or as a grade specific program. For the last Be the Scientist, we featured tie-dye as a hands-on spring event for participants in grades 3-5. While the program is inherently entertaining, we focused on a few STEM concepts for a more enriching experience. Here’s what we did. [...]

2005, 2019

LINK Program Intern Comes to SSI

By |May 20th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Willa Kopp-DeVol, a Junior at Animas High School in Durango, Colorado, recently served a 3 week internship at the Space Science Institute (SSI) in which she worked with both the research and education departments. Her school’s Leading Internships for New Knowledge (LINK) Program takes students beyond the classroom walls in order to clarify personal, college and career goals while teaching invaluable professional skills and life lessons. Over the next few weeks and [...]

2005, 2019

Summer Reading Champions

By |May 20th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

The Space Science Institute (SSI) is home to the STAR Library Network (STAR Net) and its NASA@ My Library program. The STAR Net team in partnership with the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) are working together to share science- and technology-related activities and resources to libraries across the nation as part of CSLP’s 2019 summer learning program called “The Universe of Stories.” To help inspire children to reach their full potential [...]

1505, 2019

Where Do Families Go for STEM

By |May 15th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Libraries Reduce the Opportunity Gap By Linda Kekelis What do libraries have to do with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)? These days, plenty. You can find preschoolers and their caregivers engaging in hands-on science and math activities, girls and mothers tinkering with tools and technology, and families learning to code at summer lunch programs all at their local public library. These experiences spark new interests in kids, build confidence [...]

3004, 2019

STAR Net Participates in the STEM For All Video Showcase

By |April 30th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

The STAR Library Network (STAR Net) recently entered a video into the NSF STEM For All Video Showcase, which will take place from May 13th to May 20th.  STAR Net’s 3-minute video focuses on how the organization has prepared libraries for the Collaborative Summer Library Program's 2019 summer learning theme, “A Universe of Stories.” Every year, libraries across the country rally around a summer reading theme and offer diverse programs to the [...]

2904, 2019

STEAM Engines: A House for a Louse

By |April 29th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

We were at the tail end of what seemed to be an endless, capricious winter. One of those predictably unpredictable Illinois seasons where one day you wake up and the sun is shining, and the breeze is sweet, and the crocuses know better but just can’t help themselves. There’s something about that optimism - that hubris - that I appreciate, and I felt similar feelings as I saw a lone [...]

2804, 2019

3D Printing Boot Camp

By |April 28th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Skokie Public Library has previously offered multiple day programs over school breaks to engage learners in a deeper dive of a specific content. Boot camp style programs tend to do well with higher tech topics like coding. This year during Spring Break, Ben, one of our Experiential Learning Specialists, designed a two day boot camp style program on 3D design and printing for kids in grades 3-5. The program was [...]

804, 2019

New GLOBE Observer Toolkit for Informal Educators

By |April 8th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

GLOBE Observer, an app-based citizen science project, recently released a toolkit for informal educators at libraries, museums, parks and outdoor education centers, after school programs, and more, which is available online at observer.globe.gov/toolkit. The toolkit contains activities and resources which can be integrated into programming at your institution. Each section includes tips for using the app and information about why it is important to make these observations. The resource library [...]

204, 2019

Free Books and Supplies Available for Your Library!

By |April 2nd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

by Stephanie Vierow-Fields STAR Net’s Summer of Space campaign promotes space science and astronomy and provides valuable resources that public libraries can use to build a summer learning program that their community will remember for years to come. From NASA’s 50th anniversary celebration of the Apollo 11 Moon landing to CSLP’s summer learning program, A Universe of Stories, STAR Net brings together a wide range of activities, resources, and webinars that enlighten as [...]

2603, 2019

Community Video Gaming

By |March 26th, 2019|Categories: Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Technology|

Video games continue to be a source of community based learning and entertainment for youth and teens at Skokie Public Library. We have embraced this and provide multiple channels for youth and teens to participate either individually or as a group. But we really value group gaming as it supports collaboration, communication, and community, which are key 21st century learning skills. Here are a few community based gaming opportunities our [...]

1103, 2019

STEAM Engines: Emmett Chappelle and big, messy Bioluminescence

By |March 11th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

  Skokie Public Library's February STEAM Engines club, featuring STEAM learning and hands-on activity for kindergarten through second graders, focused on super cool retired scientist Emmett Chappelle. Chappelle had an exciting and varied career, including working with NASA to support their flight initiatives. Perhaps most prominently, he was involved with the Viking 1, the first spacecraft to successfully land on Mars! For the purposes of our program, however, we chose [...]

603, 2019

Teens Participate in a National Challenge at Public Libraries

By |March 6th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

by Stephanie Vierow-Fields STAR Net’s Summer of Space in partnership with the Collaborative Summer Learning Program’s A Universe of Stories, invites libraries to participate in a national STEM challenge designed for the hard to reach tween/teen age group. The Northwest Earth and Space Science Pipeline (at the Univ. of Washington, in Seattle) is the lead organization.   As part of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, the ANGLeS [...]

2502, 2019

The Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA Program: Science-based Inquiries Outside the Classroom

By |February 25th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

by Emma Marcucci and Holly Ryer, Space Telescope Science Institute Research shows that out-of-school-time programs play an important role in supporting learning experiences and shaping youth identity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Young learners (particularly girls) who participate in STEM activities outside of school are more likely to say they will pursue STEM subjects later in their education. In addition, there is strong evidence that inquiry-based approaches benefit [...]

2302, 2019

LED Light Up Cards

By |February 23rd, 2019|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Physics, Science, STEM|

This month we combined card-making with circuitry for our latest Be the Scientist program for grades 3-5. We facilitated this program near Valentine’s Day thinking it would help spark interest. Here’s what we did. We started the program by talking about circuitry, asking participants what they knew about how a circuit works and what its used for. In addition to talking about how a circuit works, we used a Snap [...]

402, 2019

Apollo Next Giant Leap Student Challenge Offers a Fun Way to Explore the Moon

By |February 4th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

by Stephanie Vierow-Fields, Education Coordinator at the Space Science Institute As we gear up for the Universe of Stories summer learning event and NASA’s Apollo 11 50th anniversary, NASA@ My Library and the Northwest Earth and Space Science Pipeline are collaborating to promote a unique engineering challenge from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, offering students the chance to land on the “Moon”.  Well, a map of the Moon [...]

1701, 2019

STAR Net + Infiniscope = Great Resources and Activities!!

By |January 17th, 2019|Categories: astronomy, Elementary Aged, General, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Next Wednesday (January 23) two great resources will be coming together to help teachers and public librarians unite to create a wonderful summer experience for children all across the United States!  STAR_Net, a resource for librarians who provide STREAM programming, is uniting with Infiniscope, a resource used by teachers to teach science concepts, especially those related to space and astronomy.  This new alliance could really bring this summer's theme [...]

1601, 2019

STEAM Kits

By |January 16th, 2019|Categories: Arts, Chemistry, Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, Math, Physics, Science, STEM, Technology|

One way we promote self-directed STEAM learning at Skokie Public Library is through our STEAM Kit collection. We have about 30 kits that cardholders can checkout for one week at a time. Here’s how we create, circulate, and promote this specialized collection.   Kit Topics and Contents Our STEAM kits are carefully curated by staff in the Learning Experiences department. Often, kits are inspired by previous BOOMbox rotation equipment. We [...]

1601, 2019

Register Your Library for STAR Net’s “Summer of Space”!

By |January 16th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

The Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), the STAR Library Network (STAR Net) with its NASA@ My Library program, and NASA are working together on a virtual launch pad filled with numerous STEM resources that libraries can utilize for their celebration of space exploration as part the 2019 “A Universe of Stories” summer learning event. STAR Net’s "Summer of Space" website provides your library with valuable tools to help your summer learning program [...]

1001, 2019

Tinker Kids

By |January 10th, 2019|Categories: STEM, Technology, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |

This summer I had my first foray into the camp format of programming. Summer camps are a big thing in our community. Kids will talk about what they've learned from one camp before heading off to another. I wanted our library to get in on this, but I was a little apprehensive of diving into the deep end. So I compromised (with myself) and did a smaller scale program. One [...]

901, 2019

Libraries and Citizen Science: Seeking Pilot Sites

By |January 9th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Please complete application form by Jan 25, 2019 The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) is seeking 3-4 U.S. libraries that are willing to review and pilot test resources and activities related to NASA’s GLOBE Observer citizen science program. Citizen science – also called volunteer science – engages the public in science investigations.  NASA’s GLOBE Observer free mobile app enables citizen scientists of all ages to contribute to NASA science [...]

501, 2019

Infiniscope Activity for the Super Blood Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse

By |January 5th, 2019|Categories: astronomy, Elementary Aged, General|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Happy New Year everyone! For anyone interested in space, space exploration, astronomy, and NASA, this year has begun with a bang! Just after the new year began on the east coast, the New Horizons successfully passed within 2,200 miles of the Kuiper Belt object named Ultima Thule, collected data, including great pictures which have already solved some intense debates, sent the data back to earth, and is now headed onward [...]

3112, 2018

New Horizons will be Broadcasting It’s Fly-By of Ultima Thule on January 1, 2019

By |December 31st, 2018|Categories: astronomy, General, NASA, News, Science, Space Exloration, Uncategorized|Tags: , |

  Many people are aware that New Horizons will be taking pictures, and collecting data as it passes close by the Kuiper Belt object commonly known as Ultima Thule (2014 MU6) on January 1, 2019.  It will be passing closer to Ultima Thule than it has come to any other object since it launched from Earth on January 19, 2006.  It will come within 2,200 miles of the surface of [...]

2712, 2018

STEAM Engines

By |December 27th, 2018|Categories: Chemistry, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Science, STEM|

Youth Services Librarian Caitlin Savage took over STEAM programming for grades K-2 last spring at Skokie Public Library. Under her direction, the bi-monthly Science Club program became monthly and was re-branded as STEAM Engines. This program is becoming a destination for budding scientists and explorers, and serves a bridge to other STEAM opportunities at the library, including the BOOMbox. Here’s how it is designed and facilitated. STEAM Engines follows a [...]

2112, 2018

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 8 Mission to the Moon

By |December 21st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Join Us for this Live Webcast Event! BLOG UPDATE: Click here for a recording of the live webcast event. The tumultuous year of 1968 saw escalation of war, riots in the streets, and assassinations of leaders. During this time of upheaval back on Earth, NASA gave the world hope through its Apollo mission to the Moon. Apollo 8 was the first mission ever to take astronauts to a world beyond [...]

1212, 2018

Internet Librarian Conference!

By |December 12th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

In October, I traveled across half the country and attended the Internet Librarian conference in Monterrey, California. It was my manager’s idea, and I was thrilled for the opportunity. I was not anticipating learning something in every single session I attended. This conference was a learning experience for me - right down to the break time. Some days they had three hour long breaks throughout the conference time. It was [...]

2711, 2018

Exploring Music

By |November 27th, 2018|Categories: Informal Learning, Physics, STEM|

This fall our STEAM space, the BOOMbox, is exploring music. Every two weeks, we focused drop-in experiences on a different aspect of music, from physics to history to genres. We used a variety of tools and resources for hands-on learning, experimentation, and exploration, largely engaging learners in grades 2-7. Here are some of the focus areas and related activities we featured.   Sound The first month explored sound: what it [...]

2611, 2018

Merge Cubes!

By |November 26th, 2018|Categories: General, Technology|Tags: , , |

There's a lot of hubbub about AR and VR lately. Unfortunately, a lot of this technology is financially unreasonable for many educators. That is, until the Merge Cubes were invented. It was originally made from a discarded yoga mat - and kind of still seems like it. It looks like a cube of alien QR codes, and that is essentially what it is. These alien QRs can link to elaborate [...]

2511, 2018

Pumpkin STEMs!

By |November 25th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Geometry, Informal Learning, Physics, Science, Spacial Thinking, STEM, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , |

STEM programming and Halloween just sort of naturally go together. But I was looking for a slightly "less gross" way to connect the two. Building and pumpkins don't seem to normally go in the same sentence, but we tried and it and had a blast! For the engineering portion of the program, I decided to use a variation on the marshmallows and spaghetti project building idea. I provided candy pumpkins [...]

2511, 2018

FrankenCreatures!

By |November 25th, 2018|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, Engineering, General, Informal Learning, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |

Who among us hasn't at some point just put out a bunch of materials and told the kids "have at it!"? We did that in our STREAM Center for a pre-Halloween program, and it was way more fun that we anticipated! There were a large number of the parents who stayed with their kids and created right along with them, even though their attendance wasn't strictly mandatory at the program. [...]

2311, 2018

A Visit With Master Artists and Teachers – Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander

By |November 23rd, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, General, Informal Geometry, Informal Learning, Informal Math Programming, Math, Math Activities, Middle School Aged, STEM, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

A local museum is hosting an exhibit entitled "Origami in the Garden" until March of 2019.  It's a fantastic series of metal sculptures based on origami designs scattered throughout the gardens of the museum.    As part of the exhibit's kick-off activities, Michael LaFosse and Richard Alexander, master origamists, were invited to visit local schools and to teach workshops at the Botanic Garden.  I was fortunate enough to be able [...]

1911, 2018

Lessons Learned from Camp Cosmos

By |November 19th, 2018|Categories: astronomy, Elementary Aged, Engineering, Informal Learning, Math Activities, Middle School Aged, Moon, NASA, Next Generation Science Standards, Physics, Science, Space Exloration, STEM, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

            How do you decide if an event is a success? Usually the number of people in attendance is a good indicator, and one that the state wants us to report. But what if you only have three people from your intended audience attend? Can you still call that a successful event? To celebrate the end of World Space Week in October, we held Camp Cosmos [...]

1911, 2018

Backyard Wilderness BioBlitz!

By |November 19th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Photography, Pre-School, Science, STEM, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , |

This summer in the middle of Summer Reading Club, we acquired a grant-related exhibit for the library. Backyard Wilderness is a large-format film by HHMI studios, created primarily for the museum audience. An exhibit, designed also primarily for museums, was created to go along with it, and through the grant program, was distributed to libraries as well. When the exhibit arrived, it was packed in a couple of boxes and [...]

611, 2018

STAR Net Resources

By |November 6th, 2018|Categories: Informal Learning, NASA, STEM, Tutorials|

Calling All STEM Superstars (and Newbies, too!) Follow This Guide to Free Resources from the STAR Library Network (STAR Net) Participants in the 2015 Public Libraries & STEM conference provided input on library strengths and opportunities in STEM in this word cloud.       Are you planning to bring science, technology, and fun into your programs and services in summer 2019? Help us build on the successes (and challenges) of the [...]

2610, 2018

Making Coding Fun and Easy

By |October 26th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Technology, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This year I started adding something new to some of my programs - coding.  It has been a whole new adventure for me.  When I was in school, computers in education were a new concept.  There was a room with several desktop computers with large towers connected to them.  Those computers required 6 inch floppy disks, were programmed with DOS, and sat there quietly in the dark most of the [...]

2610, 2018

Science of Sound

By |October 26th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, Informal Learning, Physics, Science|

This fall our informal learning space, the BOOMbox, is exploring all things music. The rotation is 16 weeks long and we’re focusing on a different concept related to music about every two weeks. This month’s STEAM program for youth grades 3-5 aligned with the rotation and we explored the physics of sound in a hands on way by making membranophones, courtesy of the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Here’s what we [...]

110, 2018

AR, VR, MR – HUH?

By |October 1st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |

You don't have to look very far to find the next trend in technology education. There are a lot of choices out there, and a lot of letters have been thrown around lately, but what do they mean? Use this guide when making your next techno-decision. VR Virtual Reality Virtual reality is an all-encompassing experience. VR creates a world of its own. This can be realistic, or surreal. The important [...]

3009, 2018

STEM Learning in the Library

By |September 30th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

This month I had the opportunity to participate in the Working Group on Partnerships for Middle School and STEM Learning with the Urban Libraries Council. Professional Development Coordinator Keliann LaConte and Education Coordinator Brooks Mitchell, both team members for the STAR_Net program, were also in attendance where we discussed our views of STEM learning in libraries and how we can develop intentional, sustainable, and strategic partnerships within communities. Here are [...]

2609, 2018

Calling All STAR net Libraries: Help NASA Make a Better World Land Map!

By |September 26th, 2018|Categories: environmental education, General, NASA, Photography, Spacial Thinking, Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

NASA needs your help photographing your local landscape through the new Land Cover tool in GLOBE Observer (GO). Why? One reason is to fill in details of the landscape that are too small for global land-mapping satellites to see. Land cover is critical to many different processes on Earth and contributes to a community’s vulnerability to disasters like fire, floods or landslides. Read more at http://go.nasa.gov/2NdWgwt. GO Land Cover kicked [...]

1709, 2018

Making and Information Literacy

By |September 17th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Guest post by Heather Moorefield-Lang Information Literacy Information Literacy, as defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries (2000), is the ability to know when information is needed as well as locate, evaluate, and use that information effectively. Information literacy typically has six steps (ACRL, 2000). Determine the type of information needed Accessing the needed information Evaluating found information critically Integrating new knowledge Use information effectively for the given [...]

1009, 2018

Libraries to Shine During Lights On Afterschool 2018

By |September 10th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Guest post by Afterschool Alliance staff All across America, afterschool programs love their libraries! According to a 2017 study of more than 350 afterschool programs, nearly three-quarters reported that they were working with their local public library in diverse ways, from literacy initiatives to book lending programs and STEM activities. Those informal learning relationships deserve to be featured, and that’s why “Library Partnerships” is a theme of this year’s Lights On Afterschool—the only nationwide [...]

2808, 2018

Nature Play

By |August 28th, 2018|Categories: Arts, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Pre-School, Science, STEM|

Under the direction of Sue Teller, Children’s Librarian/Staff Artist, Skokie Public Library has been bringing informal, nature-based STEAM learning to our youngest patrons via Nature Play. This is a weekly program intended for children ages 3-6 who participate with an adult caregiver. Sue was inspired by a program at one of the annual conferences hosted by the Chicago Botanic Garden and wanted to bring nature into the lives of young [...]

2408, 2018

It’s the end of the iWorld as we know it

By |August 24th, 2018|Categories: Arts, Informal Learning, Pre-School, Technology, Uncategorized|

If you own some older Apple tablets, you might have noticed a new trend when trying to download apps. At first, I thought it was really cool that I didn't have to update my iPads every other week (take that, Apple!), and I didn't realize what was to come. As I've started to explore my role as Technology Librarian, I finally have time to go through my library programming bucket [...]

408, 2018

Music, Music, Let’s Make Some Music!

By |August 4th, 2018|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  To start off our Summer, which has the theme "Libraries Rock" this year, I decided to have a "make your own music" program.  I enjoy programs where participants learn to create using items they will most likely find around their own homes.  For this program, I decided that we would make our own kazoos and then play group tunes with some palm pipes. My first plan had included making Pan's Pipes, [...]

108, 2018

A Whale of an Adventure!

By |August 1st, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, Informal Learning, Pre-School, Science, STEM|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Migration: noun. seasonal movement of animals from one region to another. "this butterfly's annual migration across North America" We recently addressed the topic of migration in a program, and it was a lot of fun. First, I asked the kids what it means to “migrate.” They came up with a very similar answer to the definition above. I asked what kinds of things migrate; they told me fish, birds, butterflies, bugs, “things [...]

3107, 2018

Louisville Public Library Seeks New Director of Library and Museum Services

By |July 31st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

The Louisville Public Library has been a great friend to the STAR Net Project since it’s inception almost 10 years ago. They’re now looking for a new Director to carry on the amazing legacy of Beth Barrett, and requested we share this announcement with STAR Net libraries, as they’re the type of innovative individuals Louisville is looking for! Minimum Qualifications Completion of a Master’s degree program at an American Library [...]

3007, 2018

Seeing Stars!

By |July 30th, 2018|Categories: astronomy, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Moon, Science, Space Exloration, STEM|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Indoor astronomy is a great way to light up the night! We recently did that, both figuratively and literally. I have done a fairly large number of astronomy programs in the past 5 or 6 years, both with and without the library's 8" Dobsonian telescope; both indoors and out. I want these programs to be both about learning and fun... I want to encourage kids and their adults to spend [...]

3007, 2018

Exploring Chemical Engineering

By |July 30th, 2018|Categories: Chemistry, Engineering, Informal Learning, Science|

This summer our informal learning space, the BOOMbox, is exploring all things engineering. The rotation is 16 weeks long and we’re focusing on a different field of engineering every two weeks. Last month we shared information about a program related to civil engineering and this month, we’re sharing highlights from our two weeks of exploring chemical engineering. Please note these activities were intended to provide a foundation of chemistry knowledge. [...]

1607, 2018

Sharing Bright Ideas for Family Engagement in STEM through the Living Ideabook

By |July 16th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Guest post by Margaret Caspe, PhD - Director of research and professional learning at Global Family Research Project How can LED lights, conductive copper tape, and coin batteries bring brightness to families in Homer, Alaska during the darkest winter months? Through a STEM-focused family program at the Homer Public Library of course! Librarians in Homer recently created a series of family workshops highlighting circuit-building skills – one of which focused on making light-up [...]

1407, 2018

Tips from Tassie

By |July 14th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, Technology, Uncategorized|

Credit: NASA   South of mainland Australia lies its island state, Tasmania. (Australians shorten the name to Tassie, which rhymes with "snazzy.") Roughly half of this island is protected; its wilderness is listed -- alongside the Taj Mahal and the ancient pyramids of Egypt -- as  World Heritage property. Amidst this wild grandeur, 50 sites deliver library services to the island's 524,700 inhabitants.   View through eucalyptus [...]

907, 2018

Take a Hike! (At the Library?)

By |July 9th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Pre-School, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |

  Earlier this year, in the spring, Kenton County Public Library, Kenton County Parks and Recreation, the City of Erlanger, Banklick Watershed Council, the Kenton County Conservation District, and Sanitation District No. 1 all partnered to hold the first ever library hike. Within the city limits of Erlanger, where my library branch is located, is Doe Run Lake which is a Kenton County park. The City, the Parks, and the Library have [...]

707, 2018

ISTE Newbie

By |July 7th, 2018|Categories: General, Informal Learning, Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

Since this is my first blog post, I should introduce myself. My name is Christina, and I work in a public library in a Chicago suburb in Illinois. I have always worked with kids, but have changed titles a few times. I am currently working in the newly-created Youth Technology Librarian position. Until recently, I was the Middle School Librarian whose interest in technology led me to spearhead most of [...]

307, 2018

Celebrating Rockets’ Red Glare!

By |July 3rd, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, Informal Learning, Physics, Science, STEM|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

On Monday, we celebrated America's birthday with some STEM activities! As always, we started with some reading, and I intentionally chose books that included images of fireworks. I also included a number of non-fiction Independence Day titles in my book display, along with this title: We started by reading A is for America, by Devin Scilian, then read Happy Birthday, America, by Mary Pope Osborne.  In keeping with the "rockets' red [...]

2606, 2018

Animals in the Park!

By |June 26th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Pre-School, STEM|Tags: , , , , |

Summer Reading programs in the park have begun again for the year. So how to inform and entertain a variety of ages, in an outdoor setting? Animals! The theme for the second week was animals, and the first of the Tuesday/Thursday programs featured a live animal petting zoo. Well over 250 people showed up for that! We had two baby goats, two young sheep, a little pot-bellied pig, and a [...]

1906, 2018

Light and Color and Uncooperative Weather

By |June 19th, 2018|Categories: Arts, General, Science, STEM, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The best-laid plans often go awry...  so how to program on the fly for a large group when that happens? My Monday Mayhem program is attended by a lot of school-age kids, including those who attend two separate day care summer camps. Planning for 80 takes some work and means that it is difficult to change activities without some advance thought and materials-gathering. As such, I learned a valuable lesson [...]

1006, 2018

Exploring Civil Engineering

By |June 10th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, Engineering, Informal Learning, STEM|

This summer our STEAM space, the BOOMbox, is exploring engineering. We’re focusing on a different field of engineering every two weeks to help kids understand the breadth and overlap of this STEAM topic. While the BOOMbox offers drop-in experiences, our Be the Scientist program series for grades 3-5 provided a more structured exploration of civil engineering, specifically looking at bike paths in Skokie. Here’s what we did. We began with [...]

2105, 2018

Science Education Resources Survey

By |May 21st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

A group of museums is conducting research on informal science institutions and escape rooms experiences. An escape room is an increasingly popular physical adventure game in which players are “locked” in a room and as a team must solve a series of puzzles to “escape” the room. The purpose of this survey is to the gauge the level of interest among the informal science education community in pop-up escape room [...]

2105, 2018

Host a Community Screening of NOVA’s “Decoding the Weather Machine”

By |May 21st, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Are you interested in starting a conversation about climate change in your community? On April 18th, NOVA aired its newest climate change documentary, Decoding the Weather Machine. This two hour special takes a deep dive into our climate machine to explain why scientists agree that our climate is changing, how climate change will impact our daily lives, and how we can be resilient—and even thrive—in the face of this enormous [...]

705, 2018

Libraries and Engineers: Who Knew It Could Be So Much Fun?

By |May 7th, 2018|Categories: Engineering|

By Brooks Mitchell, Education Coordinator The best and the brightest of the library world came together with the best and the brightest of the civil engineering world in Denver, Colorado for the Project BUILD Workshop this April. I had the privilege of helping organize this event and, as is usual when working with librarians, feel that I learned just as many lessons as the workshop attendees! Professional stereotypes were shattered, [...]

405, 2018

May the Fourth be With You: Star Wars Day at the Library

By |May 4th, 2018|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Spacial Thinking, STEM, Technology, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

It's Star Wars Day! I know that it's giving away my age, but I remember when the very first Star Wars movie came out.  I watched it from a swing-set in the small, fenced-in playground at the foot of the giant screen of the drive-in movie theater.  The playground was surrounded by the same heavy gray metal boxes that were hung on the car doors of theater-goers, and served as [...]

405, 2018

Citizen Science at the Library: Science Action Club

By |May 4th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Science, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Recently, I've had the opportunity to take part in a great program sponsored by the California Academy of Sciences.  It's called the Science Action Club.  There are actually three different modules, or curricula, available - Bug Safari, Bird Scouts, and Cloud Quest.  I was able to receive the training for Bug Safari close to home.  At that training I learned that the last Bird Scouts training was being held the [...]

305, 2018

Dissecting Owl Pellets

By |May 3rd, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

In our most recent family science program, we featured owl pellet dissection. This allowed for hands on science exploration for youth in grades K-5 with a grownup using tools and resources to mimic scientists in the field. Here’s what we did. Program supplies included hand wipes, tweezers, pencils and plastic jars with lids. We ordered barn owl pellets from a science supplies distributor via Amazon. We learned that [...]

1904, 2018

Sitting on Cloud Nine with NASA GLOBE Observer

By |April 19th, 2018|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, environmental education, Informal Learning, NASA, Uncategorized|

This Earth Day, I hope you will be sitting on cloud nine* with these last-minute tips and ideas for bringing NASA GLOBE Observer Clouds and citizen science into your library.  Best of all these are evergreen - not just for April 22! TIPS AND TRICKS Brush up on Cloud Observing with these simple tips and tricks from NASA’s GLOBE Clouds Team lead, Marilé Colón Robles, to sharpen your cloud [...]

1204, 2018

Vermicomposting

By |April 12th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, Informal Learning, Science|

With the weather finally warming up, we decided to focus our latest STEM program on something fun and practical: vermicomposting! This was an hour long program for 16 kids in grades 3-5 with all supplies provided by the library. Here’s what we did. In the days before the program, we prepped all the supplies. Each participant received a shoebox sized plastic bin altered for vermicomposting. This required staff to rinse [...]

1104, 2018

Explore Your Backyard Wilderness Library Exhibits

By |April 11th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Bring the outdoors into your library! In conjunction with the release of the new 3D IMAX film Backyard Wilderness, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios is offering libraries across the country the opportunity to host a beautiful backyard wilderness exhibit and outreach campaign designed to get kids excited about exploring the outdoors and observing the ecosystems they live in. Click here to find out more and join them for a pre-application webinar on April 24, 2018.

1104, 2018

Discover Exoplanets Exhibition Announcement

By |April 11th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

The STAR Net Program at the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning, in partnership with NASA’s Universe of Learning, is proud to announce the following library and museum partner host sites for the Discover Exoplanets exhibition, starting its tour this August: Pueblo City County Public Library and Rawlings News Museum (Pueblo, CO) – Pilot Sites Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Children’s Library Discovery Center (Queens, NY) [...]

1104, 2018

Girls Steam Ahead with NASA – Library/Organization Administrator Survey

By |April 11th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

by Emma Marcucci, Girls STEAM Ahead With NASA Hello NASA@Library community! Over the past year you may have seen information in the Star Net blog or attended a webinar related to resources for “Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA” (GSAWN). We’re contacting organizers from libraries who may have held GSAWN youth events in 2017 to ask you to complete this brief but important survey. We’d like to hear from you even [...]

504, 2018

Look Up at the Sky and Celebrate Earth Day – and Beyond – with NASA!

By |April 5th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Guest post by Theresa Schwerin, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies/GLOBE Observer Team [photo above] Children estimate cloud cover through this hands-on, arts activity using construction paper: Estimating Cloud Cover: A Simulation (Credit: The GLOBE Program).  The March STAR Net Webinar series featured NASA resources for library staff to use in their Earth Day programming this spring. If you missed the live event, or would like a refresher, check out the recording [...]

504, 2018

Rain, rain, and more rain. What will the worms do?

By |April 5th, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, environmental education, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Next Generation Science Standards, Science, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  There's no way that anyone in my area hasn't noticed all of the rain we've had lately, but it wasn't until I was returning home from work one night to discover the steps to and my porch covered in a carpet of wriggling, desperate, earthworms seeking refuge from the water, that I realized just how much rain my community has received in the last few weeks.  I have often [...]

504, 2018

What Can You do With a Block of Ice?

By |April 5th, 2018|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Pre-School, Science, STEM, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

      It's beginning to show signs of spring.  Trees are budding.  Insects are beginning fly and buzz about.  I see turtles sunning at the edge of the lake.  But before that -- It was cold.  Really, really cold, for my part of the world.  In a part of the country where freezes usually last a day or two, we had weeks without the temperature getting above the freezing [...]

404, 2018

Celebrate Citizen Science Day… in your Library!

By |April 4th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Guest Post by Darlene Cavalier (SciStarter) Citizen Science Day (April 14), presented by SciStarter and the Citizen Science Association, is an annual event to celebrate volunteers, practitioners, and projects, and to introduce more people to opportunities to get involved in local or global projects in need of their help. [youtube id="yWZ6wybgHl4" width="800" height="450" autoplay="no" api_params="" class=""]   Libraries across the country can join in the celebration! We’ve provided some examples, descriptions, [...]

404, 2018

What is Citizen Science?

By |April 4th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|

Guest Post by Darlene Cavalier (SciStarter) [photo above] People swabbing microbes from shoes and cellphones at a Philadelphia Phillies game. Samples were sent to the International Space Station for growth rate comparisons. See Space Microbes for more information on this “out of this world” citizen science project. Citizen science enables people from all walks of life to participate in formal and informal scientific research. Millions of people help scientists monitor [...]

2103, 2018

Seeing is Believing!

By |March 21st, 2018|Categories: Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, STEM|

Eyes are fascinating things, and the variety of types of eyes and the ways they see makes for interesting programming. I recently created a new school outreach program called Seeing is Believing, which addresses some of the basics of types of eyes and how they see. This 50-minute outreach visit is different from ordinary library programs, addresses some interesting STEM concepts, and is challenging and fun for the students! I [...]

203, 2018

Have Fun With an Ancient Instrument – a Mouth Bow

By |March 2nd, 2018|Categories: Arts, Elementary Aged, General, Informal Learning, Middle School Aged, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The first time I encountered a mouth bow was at Girl Scout camp many (I'm not about to tell you how many) years ago.  It was a camporee weekend, packed full of activities and workshops for us t'weens and teens.  One of the workshops was musical instruments from things we could find in the forest, mostly.  The most popular of the instruments we learned to make was the mouth bow.  By [...]